New Floating Hotel to Arrive at Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm (UK)
A new floating hotel for wind farm construction workers will arrive at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm next week to replace the previous “floatel”, which is required elsewhere.
The 145m Regina Baltica, a former cruise ferry, has been contracted as a hotel vessel for at least six months to provide accommodation for the workers who will install and commission the remaining wind turbines and electrical infrastructure at the wind farm. She takes over from 153m Wind Ambition, which leaves the Scira Offshore Energy project at the end of this month.
Around 100 workers at a time will be based on the vessel during their work rotations, generally a fortnight onboard and a fortnight onshore. They will be able to take advantage of the facilities that include single-berth cabins, coffee shop, restaurant, a swimming pool, conference and meeting rooms, lounge areas and a sun deck.
The wind farm now has 23 of the 88 Siemens 3.6MW turbines installed, and has been generating power since the start of August last year. The anticipated completion date is mid-2012 depending on weather conditions.
Sheringham Shoal Project Director Rune Rønvik said that the use of a floating hotel alleviates the pressure on local towns to continuously accommodate such a large shifting workforce.
“As it is located on the field, the hotel vessel reduces workers’ traveling time to and from the site which makes it possible to take advantage of short windows of good weather for work,” he added.
Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. Statoil is the project manager during construction, while Scira will be responsible for the long-term operations and maintenance.
Offshore WIND staff, January 17, 2012; Image: scira