Swire Blue Ocean (SBO) intends to order a new wind farm installation vessel (WFIV), with an option for a second newbuild, and plans to invest in new cranes for both Pacific Osprey and Pacific Orca.
SBO said that it has shortlisted several international shipyards for the order of the WFIV which will have ”capacities unseen in the industry up to now.”
Through the planning process which started in April 2019, the company believes to have designed a highly competitive asset, able to work on the most difficult sites, with the largest equipment in the industry.
The development comes as the Danish operator prepares itself for the installation of next-generation wind turbines over the coming decade and beyond.
“I am proud to announce that our organisation has put in the hard work to understand the challenges the industry faces, and is now equipped to deliver a solution which will prevent a supply chain bottleneck when new turbine models reach the market in the mid-2020s,” said Mikkel Gleerup, CEO of SBO.
The vessel design, created in partnership with GustoMSC, is a bespoke version of the NG-20000X-G design, with multiple customisations based on SBO’s experience in the industry.
“It has been key for us to deliver an asset that can grow with the industry, but also offer a cost base that is attractive in the market,” said Janus Joensen, SBO’s Head of Engineering and R&D.
“We have collected significant data over the last decade and by building these learnings into the design we hope to bring material benefits to our customers.”
Upgrades to Pacific Osprey and Pacific Orca
Over the past year, Swire Blue Ocean has run engineering studies in order to understand how far it could extend the capabilities of its existing “O-class” vessels.
SBO has performed market research, working with the major developers and turbine manufacturers. The company focused on defining the optimum design for replacing the main cranes on its WFIVs, considering both the needs of the future market and the vessels’ technical potential.
SBO’s engineers and project partners have developed a crane that is designed to provide an overturning moment of 100,000 t/m, while maintaining the vessels’ capacity to jack up on difficult sites and weather treacherous offshore conditions.
The main cranes are designed to provide up to 1,600 tonnes of lifting capacity with a 155 m hook height above deck. These specifications are expected to meet the requirements for installation of all turbine models currently under development and allow for the continued growth of turbine components.
The installation of the new cranes is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2023.
As reported, Pacific Osprey underwent a crane boom replacement earlier this year.