Ulstein Unveils New Offshore Wind Installation Vessel

Ulstein's New Foundation Installation Vessel

Ulstein today unveiled a custom-designed installation vessel for Norwegian-based NorWind Installer specifically designed for the offshore wind industry. The innovative DP foundation installation vessel is a customized version of the multi-purpose offshore construction vessel Deepwater Enabler vessel designed by Ulstein.

The new vessel is designed for world-wide operations and focusses on pre-piling and jacket/tripod/transition piece installation for the offshore wind industry in Northern Europe. The vessel features unique deck layouts and technologies based on suggestions from NorWind Installer’s extensive installation experience.

NorWind Installer and ULSTEIN developed the design through the ULSTEIN’s Accelerated Business Development process, a transparent process resulting in the most viable option to meet NorWind Installer’s business model and requirements.

“We are pleased with the concept as it is definitely in line with our vision of combining state-of-the-art technical solutions with the speed and seakeeping capacity of DP vessels,” said Thorbjørn Hansen, VP Product Development at NorWind Installer. “It gives us the opportunity to provide our installation services all-year around in up to 2.5m Hs, as well as meeting our client’s cost targets.”

The vessel aims for maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness and features an 800t heave compensated offshore crane on starboard side, while a pre-piling template can be located on a support structure at the stern. The vessel can carry four jackets, alternatively at least 24 piles or up to 12 transition pieces on the large open aft deck.

To enhance vessel operability, the anti-heeling system has been designed so that the main crane can revolve over 180 degrees with a full load in its main hook within 5 minutes, which is very favorable having a large jacket in the crane hook.

When operating in the pre-piling mode, the pre-piling template is positioned on the seabed by the main crane, in parallel a pile is picked up by a gantry crane, put in the upending frame on starboard side and upended. The main crane has been modified by ULSTEIN so that it can first pick-up the piling hammer with its main hook and then connect to the upended pile with its auxiliary hook. When the hammer is working on driving the pile into the seabed, the next pile is upended by the upending frame and made ready for crane lift out.

The large aft deck and AHC crane provide flexibility for serving alternative subsea and offshore markets in the future, which is increased by the two large holds suitable for carrousels located below main deck. A deck layout version of the vessel has also been developed for tidal turbine installations.

Voith Schneider propellers of 3,900 kW each will allow for a cruising speed of 13 knots and enhance the DP capabilities of the vessel. To minimize the environmental footprint an NOx reduction system is installed in the exhaust lines.

“After working closely with NorWind Installer in the ABD process, ULSTEIN started developing the integrated concept for mission equipment and vessel. This project shows the combined strength we can offer to support our clients in realizing their visions”, says Edwin van Leeuwen, project manager at ULSTEIN.