SGRE has extended a pair of 2-year operations and maintenance (O&M) charter agreements signed in 2017 for vessels Seacat Vigilant and Seacat Liberty. Seacat Liberty is now under contract until Q4 2022 and Seacat Vigilant until Q4 2020, with options to extend further. These multi-million-pound contract extensions will see Seacat Services continue to provide specialist logistical support to the SGRE technical teams, transporting technicians and O&M equipment as they perform both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance at the 56-turbine Galloper site.
For a prominent offshore wind manufacturer and service provider such as SGRE, extensive benefits can be realised by taking a ‘value-over-cost’ approach when it comes to managing long-term O&M agreements. By investing in the most capable vessels and crews for the duration of its service contract at Galloper, SGRE has benefitted from extremely high levels of vessel availability.
This has enabled the business to maximise ‘time on turbine’ for its technicians, and, in turn, keep its maintenance programmes on schedule, driving operational and efficiency improvements for the wind farm owner. Efficiency and collaboration at the project site have been enhanced further by the presence of a third Seacat Services vessel, Seacat Ranger, which remains on charter for Galloper Wind Farm Ltd.
The long-term relationships established between operations teams, technicians and vessel crews have also yielded substantial benefits in terms of safety performance. Maintaining operational familiarity and consistency is a key factor in a best practice approach to on-site safety creating a shared belief and culture towards safe operations, and this objective has been supported by regular communication and collaboration on safety training initiatives.
“The importance of safe, cost-effective management of offshore wind support fleets cannot be underestimated” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services. “Market understanding of this is growing, and it is increasingly being reflected in the development of stable, collaborative supplier relationships. The offshore wind market must continue to acknowledge the productivity gains, safety improvements and cost-efficiencies that these long-term relationships offer.”
Steve Myers, Implementation and Asset Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, added that not only does continuing to collaborate with a UK vessel operator support job creation in the domestic renewable energy industry; but that SGRE’s long-standing relationship with Seacat Services across Europe helps grow a shared culture of trust for safety and productivity. It also means the company has access to one of the most capable fleets in the offshore wind sector – with the substantial project benefits this entails.