Vessel design grant award

'Manor Venture' is currently working for Siemens on the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm 'Manor Venture' is currently working for Siemens on the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm

Design of Manor Renewable Energy’s latest crew transfer vessel for the fast-growing offshore wind industry will be shaped with the help of a £50,000 grant to support innovation and cost-saving.

Manor Renewable Energy was awarded the highest grant from the £6m SCORE fund towards research for a £4million sister vessel to its one-year-old Manor Venture, currently working for Siemens on the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm.

The 26-metre vessel was designed by naval architect James Walker, Walker Marine Design, to spend prolonged time offshore with large “ship style” cabins, office space for clients and mess rooms for technicians and engineers.

Its maiden contract supporting Siemens’ work on the Galloper wind farm off the UK’s east coast, refuelling and maintenance of all of the 56 116 KVA generators on the 56 turbines.

Mr Walker will design a new vessel over the next year to service the new generation of offshore wind farms alongside the growth of Manor Renewable Energy’s business in the East of England.

David Burrows, Business Development Manager, said the SCORE grant provided the “right support for us at the right time.”

It will help fund research with wind farm operators and developers to find out what features, design and capability a second vessel would need to save more time on projects, therefore saving costs. Minimising transfer times in and out to sea is paramount as is reducing the number of times personnel have to climb the towers, he said.

“The Manor Venture has been brilliant and innovative in itself, but we are now looking at how we can increase its lifting capacity with different types of cranes and winches but without having to use a DP (dynamic positioning) vessel, which is very costly if not necessary. Things we are looking to introduce include more comfortable motions on board with comfortable cabin space so people can stay for much longer periods offshore, catering personnel permanently on board, day and night shifts incorporating new technologies that aren’t seen in conventional crew vessels.

SCORE offers grants to help companies across England to develop new products, processes and ideas which bring economic benefit to the East of England.

Grants are available to start-up and established companies for up to 40% of eligible costs or £50,000, whichever is the lower, with a minimum grant of £2,500.

The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is open to companies with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros.

The funding is designed to help companies in a wide range of areas, including research and development, collaboration with universities and research bodies, securing patents, acquiring specialist equipment or services and investigating the commercial viability of processes and technologies.

By Jake Frith

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