Photo courtesy DEME Group

DEME Partners With Barge Master on New Jones Act Feeder Barge Solution for Offshore Wind

Mike Schuler
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May 4, 2022

DEME Offshore US, part of Belgium-based DEME Group, has announced a long-term partnership with Dutch company Barge Master to develop the motion compensation technology for its Jones Act-compliant barge feeder concept for the U.S. offshore wind market.

In 2021, DEME Offshore US secured a transport and installation contract for the 62 GE Haliade offshore wind turbines for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States to be located off the coast of Massachusetts. To ensure regulatory compliance with the Jones Act, DEME partnered with Foss Maritime to develop the domestic feeder barge concept that will be used to supply a foreign-flagged Wind Turbine Installation vessel (WTIV), which will remain at sea to perform installation work.

DEME has now announced a five-year agreement with Barge Master four motion compensation platforms which will be installed on the US- flagged Foss Maritime barges.

The solution will enable the wind turbine components to be transported from U.S. ports to DEME’s specialized offshore wind turbine installation vessels. When arriving alongside the WTIV, the Barge Master motion compensation technology will ensure safe lifting operations and increase workability. The barges will also be towed and pushed by US-flagged tugs.

“This fully Jones Act compliant solution, based on using US-flagged and US-owned tugs and barges, again demonstrates our commitment to build and support the US offshore wind industry and to create jobs for (unionised) American mariners,” said President of DEME Offshore US, Sidney Florey. “Uniquely, this technology turns existing barges into a high-tech, smart feeder concept, resulting in a competitive advantage for DEME Offshore and its partners. This solution also leads to sharp pricing and guaranteed availability for the offshore wind developers, our clients.”

DEME Offshore US has also developed special seafastening releasing technology and new lifting tools, in close collaboration with GE and Barge Master. DEME Offshore US, Foss Maritime and Barge Master are set to launch the new concept, which consists of two fully-equipped smart feeder barges, in spring 2023.

The Barge Master concept is based on using patented technology, whereby control systems and cylinders are supporting a platform and actively compensating the motions of the barge. The wind turbine components are fastened to the motion-compensated platform.

Foss Maritime recently announced the development of a new logistics terminal at the Port of New Bedford in Massachussettes to support its offshore wind projects in the region. The site will undergo redevelopment over the next year and be renamed the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal, slated to open in March 2023.

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