The company behind the Galloper Wind Farm project has chartered Seacat Ranger, a highly versatile catamaran owned and operated by Seacat Services, for a 3-year contract.
Under the terms of the contract, Seacat Ranger will be deployed at the offshore wind farm (currently in construction off the Suffolk coast) from August 2017. In September, she will be joined by sister offshore energy service vessels (OESVs) Seacat Liberty and Seacat Vigilant.
The construction of the 336 MW Galloper offshore wind farm is being led by Innogy SE with Siemens Gamesa supplying and maintaining the turbines. Seacat Ranger and her crew will handle a broad scope of work, encompassing both technician and equipment transfers, in support of planned maintenance and performance optimisation taking place during the first three years of operations at Galloper. From September, Seacat Liberty and Seacat Vigilant will also be based out of Harwich and operating on the site. This will enable Seacat Services to further enhance the efficiency of its service for both Galloper and Siemens Gamesa, creating opportunities for vessel sharing and collaboration.
The charter arrangement may also lead to further long-term recruitment opportunities for the local community, helping to support the regional economy. As growth in the UK offshore wind market continues, 80 percent of the Seacat Services fleet is currently deployed in domestic waters, with a large proportion based on the east coast.
“Close collaboration in vessel deployment can yield an extensive range of benefits for all of the parties involved in the development and operation of technically and logistically complex offshore wind farms” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director of Seacat Services. “With the drive to optimise efficiency and get the most out of maintenance budgets, the ability to take a more versatile approach – and share project resources – will provide project operators, developers and OEMs alike with a more practical means of meeting collective goals.”
All three specialist OESVs have been built in the UK by South Boats IoW and their shared specifications will ensure familiarity for the technicians working on site.