(GORINCHEM, Netherlands) — Bibby Marine Services Ltd., part of the Bibby Line Group’s portfolio of companies, has signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Damen for a purpose-built service operations vessel (SOV) to serve the offshore wind market. The new ship, Bibby WaveMaster 1, represents the first collaboration of its kind between the two market-leading companies.
Drawing on Bibby’s 200-plus year maritime heritage, Bibby Marine Services Ltd. has the express aim of serving the marine needs of the offshore renewables market. The company is applying its expert knowledge and experience to provide total access and accommodation solutions for the offshore wind farm sector.
Stephen Blaikie, chief executive officer, Bibby Marine Services Ltd., said, “Bibby WaveMaster 1 is a custom-designed 90-meter LOA (length overall) SOV, with walk-to-work access and 60 high-quality accommodation berths. The aim is to enable offshore wind operators to work more efficiently, more safely and in maximum comfort, for periods of up to 30 days at a time.
“The vessel is built on a stable DP-2 (dynamic positioning) platform so it offers very high operability. It will provide safe offshore transfers for personnel by way of a motion-compensated access system (walk to work). Equipment will be securely transferred by way of the heave compensated offshore-rated knuckle boom crane. With technicians on standby in the field 24/7, wind farm operators can act immediately to rectify expensive outages, even in the toughest of weather conditions.”
Working efficiency is also one of the key drivers behind the innovative vessel design. The space has been carefully planned in terms of storage, workflow and logistics to ensure that the movement of both people and goods is smartly optimized.
The vessel has been specifically designed to be as ‘green’ as possible, with minimal emissions and low fuel consumption.
While both safety and efficiency are integral features, comfort is also paramount. The Comfort Class 2 standard accommodation comprises 60 individual ensuite berths, all of which are equipped with TV and Wi-Fi, and are complemented by class-leading leisure facilities.
As well as offering a high standard of living, the vessel hull form has been designed with comfort in mind, ensuring exceptional seakeeping abilities, and minimizing motion sickness to ensure technicians are fit for work.
Bibby WaveMaster 1 is being built at Damen’s Shipyards Galati in Romania and is expected to launch in mid-2017.
Blaikie explains the thinking behind this latest investment: “Having served the maritime industry for over 200 years, Bibby’s ongoing success lies in staying one step ahead, recognising new opportunities and leading with innovative solutions. With significant growth expected in offshore wind over the coming years, Bibby WaveMaster 1 represents our first step toward becoming a major player in the offshore wind access and accommodation sector.”
Arnout Damen, chief commercial officer of the Damen Shipyards Group, said, “It’s a pleasure to work with Bibby Marine Services on the development of this new vessel. The Bibby Line Group has a proud reputation in the maritime world and we are confident that this vessel will help to maintain and further this. The offshore wind industry is developing and this brings with it fresh challenges. We have worked closely together to design this vessel specifically with these in mind. We look forward to continuing to build on our relationship in the future.”