Generations of maritime experience
A solution for a growing industry
Offshore Energy today
The outlook for world energy demand has remained strong, despite a global economic downturn. Energy consumption will grow significantly in the coming decades while fossil fuels continuing to meet almost the majority of the total demand. Nonetheless renewable energy streams are set to represent the fastest-growing sources, increasing by 2.5% annually.
Investments in renewable energy offshore and fossil fuels captured in remote locations and harsher environments result in an increased demand for offshore vessels. Besides this, vessel operators are embarked on fleet renewal programmes feeding offshore support vessel procurement. The outlook for offshore operators regarding support, maintenance, modifications and operations services in particular is likely to be significant over the coming years.
Adding to this is the rapid emergence of offshore wind as a quantifiable market. As the European Union aims to decarbonise European economies and improve energy security. One such goal is to strive for a 20% energy consumption coming from renewable sources – a major driving force for the offshore wind industry.
Bibby Maritime Services and the Damen Shipyards Group join forces
Two family companies coming together to offer the market the best solution. Both companies have a long history in the maritime world, and impressive track records. Bibby and Damen offer the market a new total access & accommodation solution, the SOV. The only built for purpose design in the market from a people perspective (transport, accommodate, relax).
Do it differently: the SOV is designed as a dedicated vessel for accommodating people in the most comfortable way, as opposed to using a converted PSV designed for transporting goods. This concept results in improved comfort, logistics, performance and economical benefit.
A changing working environment
With the increasing construction of offshore wind farms we are already starting to see projects taking place farther from the shore. This carries implications for the industry as a whole, bringing with it a fresh set of challenges. Forthcoming wind projects will be located in deeper waters, harsher environments with increased wave heights. Furthermore, the increased distance from the shore makes impractical the daily transportation of maintenance crews to and from the offshore wind park. Extensive consultation was undertaken with key players in the market, including vessel operators, field developers, wind turbine makers, contractors and system suppliers. Interested parties pinpointed an emerging operational concern over the timely deployment of engineers on-site to sustain turbine availability.
At distances greater than 30 nautical miles from shore, transferring maintenance crews to turbines and back within one day becomes impractical. Wasted travel time has a cost impact; the on-site working day of the service engineer can be barely five and a half hours. Compounding the situation, wind farms in operation or under development offshore Europe are now commonly populated by 100 turbines or more. Service and maintenance engineers often come from a land-based background. Accordingly, the industry has identified staff retention as an issue among those unaccustomed to a life at sea. This has been a major driver in the design and development of the new vessel.