November 3, 2020

Intelligent SOV/gangway concept ensures unrivalled workability in offshore wind

To meet the future requirements of the offshore windindustry in the overall project logistics and turbine related O&M activities,Spanish engineering company Marcelo Penna Engineering and Safeway, the Dutch specialist in the design and manufacture of offshore transfer equipment, have joined forces to design an intelligent Service Operation Vessel with a very high focus on crew comfort, safety, reliability and workability in combination with lowering costs.  

The outcome of the collaboration is the DP2 MP625 SOV combined with the recently introduced Safeway Gannet 3D motion-compensated offshore access system with its unique features such as ‘zero impact bumpering’ or ‘hover mode’ and roll compensation capability.

A big advantage of this cost-saving engineering solution is that the SOV can stay in a wind farm, even in the roughest sea conditions. And thanks to the distinctive Safeway Gannet 3Dmotion compensated gangway, the floating duo is able to offer a degree of safety, flexibility and effectiveness previously unseen in the international offshore gangway industry. Various simulation tests have shown that the Spanish/Dutch combination has proven an unrivalled workability throughout the year.

“For both our companies innovation was the key driver behind this partnership. Our common goal was to come up with a high-quality design and cutting-edge technology that would minimize construction and maintenance costs, maximize operational efficiency at sea and reduce any unplanned downtime,” explained Marcelo Penna, CEO of Marcelo Penna Engineering. “And we are confident that the MP625 SOV and Safeway’s Gannet gangway will become a popular combination in the demanding and fast-growing SOV market.”

The trimaran hull feature of the SOV gains extra value in case of high seas, as the reduction of speed is almost zero compared to a calm sea state. The design allows for up to 21 kts of max speed while providing full comfort for personnel and cargo transfers (between 1,000 and 2,000 kg) with up to 3,5m waves, compared to the industry norm of Hs2.5m.

“Our Safeway Gannet 3D motion-compensated access system was developed in response to evolving requirements for fast, safe and efficient walk-to-work systems such as those being sought by Equinor and its partners for the massive offshore windfarms they plan to build on Dogger Bank,” added Wijnand van Aalst, CEO of Safeway. “Vessel and gangway must be able to connect and transfer personnel and equipment in a significant wave height of 3.5 m Hs, while the SOV must also be more compact than those built to date for services in the North Sea.”

With a length of only 64m the MP625 is around 20m smaller than SOVs built to date. In addition the vessel will be equipped with three strong diesel engines each of them being coupled with two electric engines offering a hybrid solution and a total output power of 4.4 MW. By equipping the SOV with lithium batteries, the vessel will be capable of remaining in DP for up to 12 hours in silent mode. All these solutions imply avery low fuel consumption.

By offering the international offshore wind market this intelligent and futureproof SOV/access system concept, Marcelo Penna Engineering and Safeway aim to support wind farm developers in the realisation of projects that contribute to the transition to renewable energy.

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