Wind First! Bibby WaveMaster 1 Hired for Galloper OWF

James Fisher Marine Services, main offshore marine services contractor for the Galloper project, has chartered the new Bibby WaveMaster 1 service operations vessel (SOV) to support the commissioning works on the wind farm.

The news comes shortly after the announcement that the SOV was chartered to work on an oil & gas project, reported by our sister site Offshore Energy Today. However, the vessel will first be deployed at the Galloper offshore wind farm in the autumn, before heading to its second project in spring 2018.

For Galloper, Bibby WaveMaster 1 was awarded a three-month contract with options to extend to support the offshore commissioning phase of the works.

Toby Edmonds, Galloper Project Director, said: “Much of our offshore commissioning activity will take place in the North Sea during the challenging autumn and winter months. The vessel design includes a built for purpose hull and dynamic positioning technology. This will allow our workforce to exploit weather windows in higher sea states to access and carry out work on the turbines and the substation. The specialist Walk To Work Uptime gangway and multi stop elevator will also enable the team to access offshore assets in wave heights of two metres plus.”

“Unlike traditional crew transfer vessels, the Bibby WaveMaster1 enables us to be offshore for up to four weeks at a time. Whilst we will have a complement including crew and technicians of around forty, the vessel can accommodate up to ninety,” Edmonds added.

The SOV, registered in the UK, has been built by Damen on behalf of its owners Bibby Marine Services, who will take ownership of it in August.

“Key to this charter was the use of our HardWare in the Loop (HIL) simulator developed by Damen. This system replaces inaccurate RAO based analysis and provides an accurate measurement of access to a structure for a given location based on historical data and our vessel,” Stephen Bolton, Commercial Director at Bibby Marine Services, told Offshore WIND. “With this unique tool Bibby and our Clients can gain a real understanding of what is possible. In this case a 3 knot current has a significant effect on accessibility and must be taken into account, however our HIL analysis still led us to believe we can achieve significant access above traditional expectations across the charter months.”

“We are very proud of this simulator development which in theory should change how industry assesses W2W vessels. We now look forward to validating it on the water and are grateful to Innogy Galloper and JFMS for the trust placed in us,” Bolton said.

For innogy, the company leading the construction of the Galloper offshore wind farm, this will be the first time it has used a Walk to Work offshore service vessel in UK waters during the commissioning phase of a project.

The construction of the Galloper project is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

Photo: Image: Bibby Marine Services