Northern Offshore Services’ 27-metre crew transfer vessel (CTV) Detecter has become the first Danish-flagged vessel of its kind to be certified by the Danish Maritime Authority to carry up to 24 offshore wind technicians.
The certification marks the initiation of a new practice in Denmark, which gives Danish shipping the same opportunities as its competitors from Germany, according to the Danish Shipowners’ Association.
Up to now, transport of offshore wind technicians in Denmark has been considered as ‘transport of passengers’ due to a traditional distinction between passengers and crew members – even though the technicians in terms of safety can be characterized as crew members, because they have insight into safety procedures and are used to maritime transport.
Under the old definition, the Danish regulatory authorities have required such vessels to be approved as a passenger vessel with associated stricter requirements for the construction of the vessel and the safety equipment onboard.
This practice is now being changed with the approval for Detecter to carry 24 offshore wind technicians.
“We are very pleased with the beneficial collaboration between DMA and the industry, which now means that we can build vessels to transport offshore wind technicians under the same regulatory framework as in Germany. It gives us a significantly better opportunity to compete on equal terms without compromising safety,” said Anders Boman, who is COO of Northern Offshore Services.
As a precondition for vessels such as Detector to be approved for transport of offshore wind technicians, the technicians must have the required maritime safety education and have a certificate attesting that they have a sufficiently strong physique.
“By concerted action we now have strengthened the Danish competitive position in this area in a fully responsible manner. Since the criteria for the Danish approval is in line with the national requirements of the German authorities, we hope that the British authorities will also accept the certification of the vessel. If that happens, it will be an important step towards standardization of rules for crew transport vessels in the North Sea, to the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Søren Enemark, chief consultant in the Danish Shipowners’ Association.