Transmission system operator TenneT has chartered the Connector Express to provide supply trips to offshore platforms as well as perform inspections and repair work on structures and submarine cables from the base port of Emden.
Rhenus Offshore Logistics, working in conjunction with A1 Offshore Solutions, started operating the supply vessel on 1 January 2019.
The Connector Express, which was constructed in 2002, was converted for its new assignment at Fayard shipyard in Odense, Denmark, between October and December 2018.
The vessel was equipped with an accommodation module to house as many as 40 technicians. It also has free deck space measuring more than 700 square metres, a 26-AHC crane with a lifting capacity of up to 26 tonnes and a cargo rail crane with a maximum hoisting capacity of ten tonnes.
It is possible to equip the Connector Express with two remotely operated underwater vehicles to check and repair submarine cables and offshore structures beneath the surface of the water at any time, Rhenus said. It also has a drone platform, a sonar device for exploring the seabed and an ultra-short baseline underwater navigation system.
For the moment, the vessel will mainly be used for six converter platforms in German waters, which are operated by TenneT and have to be supplied with food and spare parts. Three more platforms will probably be added to the list during 2019.
“We were able to beat off the competition from many competitors thanks to our unconventional approaches in the bidding structure and the associated broad knowledge about our customer’s needs; we’d like to thank TenneT Offshore for placing its trust in the concept that we’ve presented,” said Moritz Kukel, Head of the Chartering & Marine Asset Management at Rhenus Offshore Logistics.
“We’ve found just the right partner for handling this kind of major project in A1 Offshore Solutions.”
Rhenus has chartered out the Connector Express on a long-term basis, with more projects with similar structures in the planning stage, the company said.