Social distancing measures in response to the ongoing pandemic have taken their toll on offshore wind crew transfer. The industry is now seeking rapid solutions to increase physical separation of technicians on offshore crew transfer vessels (CTVs).
According to ORE Catapult, the current COVID-19 situation has forced some operators to limit CTV operations to a maximum of four passengers, where there would normally be twelve or 24 people on board. This is affecting jobs and energy production, due to the amount of work that can be undertaken on a wind farm under the circumstances.
On 7 May, ORE Catapult’s O&M Centre of Excellence – in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), offshore wind health and safety group G+ and the Workboat Association – has launched an innovation challenge, looking for a fast solution to fight the negative effects of the current measures on the industry.
The solution, such as a partition, should increase the physical separation of technicians in confined spaces on board CTVs, and thus allow for more passengers and crew numbers to be on board.
The challenge was identified by members of the Operational Contingency initiative, established by ORE Catapult’s O&M Centre of Excellence in response to the Covid-19 crisis, ORE Catapult states.
“COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges for the global offshore wind industry, and this initiative brings together wind farm owners, OEMs, supply chain, membership bodies, Government and regulators to address the key issues and challenges being faced”, ORE Catapult said in a press release from 7 May.