Damen Lays Keel for Second WaveMaster SOV

Damen Shipyards has held a keel-laying ceremony for Bibby Marine Services’ second WaveMaster Service Operations Vessel (SOV) at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

Image source: Damen
Image source: Damen

The new vessel is due for delivery in August 2019 and has been contracted by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and EnBW for maintenance operations on two wind farms in German waters; Hohe See and Albatros, both owned by EnBW and Enbridge.

The vessel’s final name will be announced after an internal competition at Siemens Gamesa and EnBW. However, the vessel will continue to be part of the Bibby WaveMaster series.

The SOV 9020 is a new class of purpose-built SOV with Walk-to-Work (W2W) capability developed by Damen in consultation with the offshore renewables industry.

With the steel plates for the second vessel cut at the same time as for the first, Bibby WaveMaster 1, and some fabrication already having taken place, work has been able to begin at an accelerated pace, Damen said.

“We have believed in the SOV 9020 from the beginning,” said Bibby Marine Services managing director Stephen Bolton. “Siemens Gamesa and EnBW were looking for higher access to the wind turbines and this is what the SOV 9020 is built to do, with the WaveMaster 1 providing the evidence.”

The second vessel differs in just a few minor respects from the first, Damen said. Some changes have been made to the warehousing layout at the charterer’s request, and the sauna has been removed so as to double the size of the gym. The bridge has also been reconfigured. The second WaveMaster will also have a different gangway package and crane, this time supplied by SMST of the Netherlands.

“The gangway on the original vessel has and continues to perform well, but the technology has moved on and this new integrated system does away with the need for an independent lift tower. Now, the gangway hangs off the tower and matches where the lift is. All in all, the small number of changes that we have made to this second vessel shows just how good the first one was. With our target of winning 25% of the offshore renewables servicing market, which we believe will in total support 20 to 25 of this type of vessel, we hope to be back to Damen for more SOV 9020s in the near future,” said Bolton.