The vessel used was being trialled for use in the North Sea by Esvagt. Vestas Offshore was under constant supervision by Evsagt personnel to ensure rules and procedures in relation to the vessel usage, stowage, and passenger travel were being followed.
When Esvagt delivers the customized hotel ship to Vestas it will host up to 12 Service Technicians. They will eat, sleep and work together at sea. At the same time, the hotel ship will increase flexibility and accessibility to offshore wind power plants located far off the coast.
At the harbor in Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, Flemming Ouggard, Senior Vice President in Vestas Offshore, is eager to present a new service concept. The idea of servicing offshore wind power plants from a hotel ship came to him years ago. Since then it has been in the center of his attention:
“Some customers and partners have been skeptic about this new concept – both in terms of safety, understanding the practical and the financial scope of it. It is perfectly natural to question new ways to do service, because basically our customers know what they are getting today, so why change the set-up?” Flemming says.
He doesn’t allow the question to linger. “Our customers’ investment is also our concern – we have based this new service concept on a concrete business case analysis. The conclusion shows that it is a good investment and it is always in our common interest to offer customers good investments. For instance, for our customer at Belwind NV, Vestas has chosen this new service concept since the power plant is located 46 km. off the coast of Zeebrugge.” On projects with a long distance from the harbor to the power plant the new concept offers concrete benefits to the business case, as it reduces ineffective transportation time and increases the actual time spent servicing the turbine.
No more fatigue Technicians
Technicians may often spend several hours being transported to the turbines. This same procedure is repeated at the end of the day and over a period of several days it will take its toll on even the strongest Technician.
“Our experience, combined with the learning from the safety industry, this tells us that long transportation time in smaller vessels at sea influences the Technicians’ level of fatigue and this increases the risk of incidents. The two metrics are intertwined. However, on the hotel ship, Technicians are able to spend their time recouping before they return to their mission in the morning. The new concept will allow Vestas to improve the working conditions for the employees.” Says Flemming.
Longer working periods in the turbine
Besides offering a proactive safety approach, the new concept improves the business case for power plants located far off the coast in more ways.
“Just imagine being able to spend most working hours actually doing the work on the turbine. Just imagine getting more out of our valuable resources i.e. Technicians. Mark my words – the faster we can get the turbine up and running, the better an availability we can target.” says Flemming with a committed voice.
“I have been in this industry for more than a decade and so have many of our customers – together we are now looking at new concepts such as the service ship to lower the cost of energy on power plants far off the coast. It is important to understand that while the benefits of this new concept are great they are not more expensive than the traditional service set-up.” Ads Flemming and returns to his guests on board the Esvagt ship, who are busy trying out the new FRC (Fast Rescue Craft) boat. A FRC similar to the one the Technicians will be using on the Bligh Bank wind power plant.
If you wish to hear more about the floating service ship, please contact Flemming Ougaard at email@example.com.