DeepOcean and Maersk Supply Service held a naming ceremony for the advanced cable installation vessel, the Maersk Connector, in Newcastle, UK, on 3 May.
The Maersk Connector was built by Damen to a bespoke DeepOcean specification. She was delivered in cooperation with the vessel owner, Maersk Supply Service, and is on a long term charter to DeepOcean.
The ceremony was held at A&P Tyne in Newcastle where work to install the duel concentric 7,000 tonne split capacity basket carousel, loading arms and associated cable handling equipment is nearing completion.
Once ready, the vessel will be used for the mobilisation of specialist cable handling equipment for projects in the offshore renewables and subsea interconnector sectors.
DeepOcean has secured offshore renewable and interconnector projects worth in the region of GBP 200 million, some of which were unlocked having secured the charter of the vessel.
Initially, the Maersk Connector will be utilised to install subsea array cables for the Bligh Bank Phase II offshore wind farm (Nobelwind) off Belgium, before laying subsea export cables for the 660MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea.
Subsequently the vessel will install a subsea interconnector cable between Belgium and the UK, the Nemo Link, which will increase the supply of power to Britain from the continent supporting the reduction in the cost of electricity.
”The Maersk Connector is the most advanced power cable lay vessel in the world and the only vessel of her type that can go right up to the beach and go aground fully loaded with cable. She can install a power cable in a single length from the beach to the offshore wind farm, enabling increased reliability and reducing cost for the system operators. The vessel will be used to install the export cables of the Walney Extension windfarm in the UK followed by the Nemo Link® interconnector project,” Pierre Boyde, DeepOcean’s Commercial Director, said.
The 138m-long Maersk Connector is the only vessel with the ability to ground when fully loaded allowing DeepOcean to install cables from the beach, in shallow and deep waters. It will be crewed by 90 people, which will include 70 of DeepOcean’s specialist offshore personnel.