The Netherlands: W3G Marine Ltd and IHC Merwede to Develop Design of OWTIS


W3G Marine (W3GM) and IHC Merwede have agreed to collaborate on the development of W3GM’s patented design for an offshore wind turbine installation ship (OWTIS).

The OWTIS concept has major advantages over existing assets, not least in its ability to improve offshore safety by necessitating fewer tasks to be performed offshore. It is environmentally friendly – as it has no contact with the seabed – and able to operate in harsh weather and deploy large loads. The OWTIS concept is not limited by water depth and is readily transferable to the oil and gas heavy-lift market.

The purpose-designed OWTIS will be equipped with a unique 1,500-tonne crane, which when used in conjunction with the patented lift system, will enable fully assembled wind turbines to be installed in one lift onto pre-installed foundations. This new industry changing vessel will reduce the cost of installing offshore wind turbines (and foundations) by at least one third compared to current methods.

W3GM and IHC Merwede are committed to completing the engineering design phase by the end of November 2011. This will allow a vessel to be delivered by the end of 2013, making it available for the 2014 season.

IHC Merwede is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment – with vast experience accumulated over decades – and a reliable supplier of complex integrated ships and supplies for offshore construction. The company has an excellent record of delivering on time and to a fixed price. IHC Merwede has committed significant internal resources to jointly complete the design with W3GM, and as a result the ship will be built in one of IHC Merwede’s shipyards.

W3GM is based in Aberdeen, Scotland and was founded by three engineers from the offshore construction industry. They have a successful track record of developing, building and operating offshore construction vessels.

IHC Merwede’s President Govert Hamers says, “This vessel will set a new standard for productivity in the offshore wind turbine installation market and is an example of the cooperation between W3GM’s design and IHC Merwede’s integrated service teams. This will provide the platform to develop a world- beating offshore construction asset.”

W3GM’s CEO Alan West says, “The OWTIS developed by W3G Marine will bring an industry changing initiative to the way offshore wind turbines are installed. This will be achieved through the application of innovative design and operational expertise to significantly improve safety, minimise environmental impact, work in harsher weather and deeper waters, and reduce installation costs by at least one third.”

IHC Merwede and W3GM expect that OWTIS will be the first of a series of vessels to enable the burgeoning offshore wind industry to meet the economic targets for round three of offshore wind farm development in the UK and other similar projects in Europe.

Company profile IHC Merwede

IHC Merwede is focussed on the continuous development of design and construction activities for the specialist maritime sector. It is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment – with vast experience accumulated over decades – and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and supplies for offshore construction.

IHC Merwede has in-house expertise for engineering and manufacturing innovative vessels and advanced equipment, as well as providing life-cycle support. Its integrated systematic approach has helped to develop optimum product performance and long-term business partnerships.

The company’s broad customer base includes dredging operators, oil and gas corporations, offshore contractors and government authorities.

IHC Merwede has over 3,000 employees based at various locations in The Netherlands, China, Croatia, France, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Technological innovation will remain the company’s underlying strength through its continuous investment in research and development. Moreover, it helps to safeguard a sustainable environment.

Company profile W3G Marine

W3G Marine is a company based in Aberdeen, Scotland. The company was founded by three engineers who have a vast experience in offshore installation, gained in the oil and gas industry. The individual directors have all been associated with projects which involve the installation of structures offshore and the defining, building, converting and operating of offshore construction ships. A number of patents have been registered.

The OWTIS is a key component of the company’s objective of becoming an installation contractor for the offshore wind turbine industry. The OWTIS will bring very high levels of safety to the offshore work. The design has been focused on minimising risks to people, the installed item and the environment, all of which are key objectives for W3G Marine.

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Source:  IHC Merwede, June 21 , 2011.