In order to provide offshore accommodation for workers on what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, DONG Energy has chosen Gulf Marine Services UK, based in Aberdeen. Hornsea Project One will be capable of meeting the electricity needs of well over one million homes. It will be located 120km off the Yorkshire coast, so when work begins offshore in 2018, the team will stay out at sea rather than make the journey back and forth each day.
Two accommodation jack-up vessels will sleep up to 150 technicians in total. They will provide safe access via a static gangway to the three offshore substations and reactive compensation station.
As well as providing a place for those commissioning the substations to stay, one of the vessels will be fitted with a boat landing system, enabling safe transfers to crew transfer vessels, even when jacked up and without interference to operations on the substation.
This will create an offshore hub, allowing technicians working on other areas of the wind farm, such as the wind turbines, to stay on the same vessel.
Duncan Clark, Programme Director at DONG Energy, said: “Hornsea Project One will become the world’s biggest wind farm by a long way, so we are having to innovate in all areas as we scale up our expertise from previous projects. It’s also the furthest wind farm from shore that we’ve built, presenting challenges that are new to this industry.
“From many years of operating in the oil and gas industry, GMS have experience in ensuring that work in challenging offshore locations remains safe and efficient. As a UK company, much of their supply chain is UK based. Hornsea Project One has already awarded numerous multi million pound contracts to UK companies in an effort to develop the UK supply chain.”
Duncan Anderson, CEO Gulf Marine Services, said: “The offshore hub will be an integral part of the logistic set up for Hornsea Project One. We are delighted to be supplying the global leader in offshore wind and applying our knowledge to this growing industry.
“On this project, we’re working with DONG Energy to adapt our vessels to better serve the offshore wind industry. This will bring benefit to both parties and give us an advantage for future offshore projects. By developing new business streams in renewable energy we’ve remained a leader in this competitive market.“
The two highly sophisticated Self Elevating Support Vessels (SESVs) being supplied by GMS are less than five years old. Each SESV has the advantage of four legs rather than the usual three seen on traditional liftboats, offering a stable platform in harsh weather conditions.
The vessels are also self-propelled and dynamically positioned, which means they do not require the assistance of tugs or similar support vessels, making them more cost-effective and time-efficient than conventional jackups without propulsion. They have a large deck space, crane capacity and accommodation facilities that can be adapted to the requirements of the Group’s clients.