RWE Building ‘World’s First’ Amphibious Vessel for Shallow Water Offshore Wind Farms

German renewable energy company RWE has joined forces with Commercial Rib Charters (CRC) to build an amphibious crew transfer vessel (CTV) for reaching offshore wind farms in shallow waters, for which RWE said was a world-first.

The vessel, currently being built by Diverse Marine and set to be operated by CRC for RWE under a six-year contract, is expected to enter into service in September this year, when it will be deployed at the 60 MW Scroby Sands offshore wind farm.

The 12-metre CTV, which will be named CRC Walrus, has a cargo capacity of one tonne and is capable of transferring 10 technicians and two crew to any of the turbines within the array, including on the raised sandbank, according to RWE.

CRC Walrus by RWE

Initially designed to reach four turbines at the Scroby Sands offshore wind farm in the UK, which have become stranded by the natural rising tide of the sandbank on which it was built, the fully seaworthy vessel can also drive on land with its two wheels at the front and one at the back.

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This feature provides an access solution for some of the industry’s first-generation assets affected by the very dynamic of seabed conditions, RWE said.

The CTV was jointly developed by RWE’s Operations team, Technology & Innovation team, and vessel provider CRC, which contracted naval architects Chartwell Marine to carry out the design to the specifications requested.

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Photo: Offshore Wind farm Scroby Sands 2022