Wavecraft CTV Newbuilds to Service Ørsted’s UK Offshore Wind Farms

Danish crew transfer vessel operator World Marine Offshore (WMO) has contracted Norwegian shipbuilder Umoe Mandal AS to build two second-generation Wavecraft™ crew transfer vessels.

WMO has also entered into bareboat charter agreements for two similar vessels that are owned by the Umoe Group. Three of the four vessels will go on contract with Ørsted.

The two newbuilds are of the Sprinter 28 design from Umoe Mandal.

The Wavecraft™ Sprinter 28. Source: WMO

The bareboat charter agreements for the two existing Wavecraft vessels, Umoe Firmus and Umoe Rapid, have a duration of four years. The vessels’ owner, the Umoe Group, is Umoe Mandal’s majority shareholder.

”Our Wavecraft vessels are unique as they are heave compensated and probably the most efficient crew transfer vessels in the world,” said Tom Harald Svennevig, CEO of Umoe Mandal.

They can transfer personnel in wave heights up to 2.5 metres and are capable of 40-45 knots service speed. World Marine Offshore (WMO) and Ørsted are the most experienced users of these air-cushioned catamarans. To receive further orders from the companies who are most familiar with this vessel type confirms their confidence in the vessels’ performance and quality.”

Upon completion, the two newbuild vessels will enter service for Ørsted on wind farms located on UK’s east coast. Both vessels will be delivered from Umoe Mandal in 2023.

Mikkel Windolf, Senior Product Innovation Manager at Ørsted, said: ”Technology is constantly evolving and changing. However, vessel designs have remained relatively stable in the offshore wind business until now. The SES (Surface Effect Ships) design is for the specific sites where transit distance and time suits. The SES vessel is signalling a change for the offshore market to move towards more specialised product that is aimed at solving unique challenges.”

The two existing vessels, which were also built by Umoe Mandal, have been in service in the offshore wind industry for several years.

”WMO has had the pleasure to be operating these unique vessels on behalf of the Umoe Group for several years, and we have seen the unique performances these vessels offer to the offshore wind industry. Feedback from offshore wind farm owners has been excellent. We have worked together with Umoe Mandal for a long time to meet Ørsted’s requirements for their UK east coast operation, and we are proud to see that WMO and Wavecraft Sprinter 28 is selected for this contract,” said Hans Schneider, CEO of WMO.

All Wavecraft™ vessels are based on an air-cushion catamaran design, built in composite sandwich materials that are said to enable up to 20-30 per cent lower fuel consumption than for example aluminium vessels, with associated reduced emission levels.

The Wavecraft™ crew transfer vessels are also equipped with what is described as ”a unique boarding control system (BCS™)” which is said to eliminate wave motions and allow transfer of personnel to the offshore turbines in waves up to 2.5mHs.

”The combination of 40-45 knots operating speed and our boarding control system means that wind farm operators can get a substantially higher number of operating hours out of every offshore technician,” said Svennevig.

”Not only do we cut the transit and infield sailing time by half versus traditional CTVs, but we also increase the operating window significantly. With offshore wind farms moving further offshore, often in rougher seas, we believe the industry is ready for a new generation of high-performance crew transfer vessels.”

The Wavecraft™ vessels of the Sprinter 28 design are 27.5 metres long and 10.4 metres wide. They carry up to 24 passengers, plus four crew.

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