Norwegian gamechanger for offshore wind?

Surface effect ships display some useful attributes for the offshore wind sector Surface effect ships display some useful attributes for the offshore wind sector
Industry Database

The WaveCraft Offshore Service Vessel, manufactured by Umoe Mandal in Norway, is part of the next generation of offshore wind farm service vessels, and according to UK-based vessel operator Tidal Transit, it is considered an industry ‘game-changer' by those who have been exposed to this surface effect vessel.

Earlier this year Umoe Mandal chartered the first commercial WaveCraft to Dong Energy for use at its Borkum Riffgrund Wind Farm off the coast of Germany, but the second commercial vessel, the Umoe Firmus is coming to the UK.

Since 2011,Tidal Transit Limited has been chartering its purpose-designed catamaran Personnel Transfer Vessels [PTVs] to the UK's offshore wind farm developers and operators, and now this young innovative company has entered into a Ship Management contract with Umoe Unda to be the UK operator of the Umoe Firmus.

The WaveCraft is a Surface Effect Ship [SES] which uses an air cushion between its catamaran hulls to lift 80% of the vessel out of the water. The shallow draught that this creates provides the vessel with easy access to ports, and enables it to travel at high speeds (40 knots is claimed) while maintaining a low fuel consumption resulting in a range of more than 700 nautical miles.

According to Tidal Transit, managing the pressure of the air cushion according to wave height allows for smoother voyages and provides a greatly increased opportunity for access to turbines -up to wave heights of 2.5 metres, or even higher in a swell.

Tidal Transit Commercial Director Leo Hambro said: "A number of UK offshore wind farm developers and operators have already expressed interest in the WaveCraft. Now that we know that Umoe Firmus will arrive in the UK by mid-February 2016, I anticipate that we will shortly be able to finalise the first UK charter contract."

By Jake Frith

Latest Press Releases

Damen signs maintenance contract with Netherlands Ministry of Defence

On 11th July, Damen Shipyards Den Helder signed a midlife upkeep (MLU) contract with the Netherlands... Read more

Damen signs contract with Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works for Material Package of two ASD Tugs 2009

On 5th July, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&E... Read more

Damen signs contract with Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works for Material Package of two ASD Tugs 2009

On 5th July, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&E... Read more

Multraship holds naming ceremony for two new Damen tugs

Multraship holds naming ceremony for two new Damen tugs Read more

Damen releases annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Latest editions details group alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals Read more

Damen signs contract with Baleària for Eco-efficient tug in Port of Ciutadella

Damen Stan Tug 1606 E3 the first IMO TIER III compliant harbour tug in the Mediteranean Read more

View all