Busy Jack-Up Finds Haven in Harwich

'Vagant', seen here under tow took shelter from North Sea storms last month in Harwich Haven.
Industry Database

The jack up barge ' Vagant' was towed into Harwich Haven last month to shelter from the North Sea storms and tidal surge which lashed the east coast of England and Continental Europe. The barge was under tow by Euro-Tugs’ 5,000bhp ' Union Diamond' from the North Sea to Dunkirk, where it is now in drydock undergoing a five-year inspection.

Both tug and tow are Belgium flagged. The vessels spent one week alongside at Parkeston container terminal before continuing the passage on November 14. They left Harwich Haven assisted by the FelixArc tugs 'Grey Vixen' and 'Grey Jumbo'. Owned and operated by DEME Group subsidiary Geo@Sea of Zwijndrecht in Belgium, Vagant is a purpose built GustoMSC type SEA-800 single hull, self-elevating design that fulfils a wide range of roles in coastal and offshore environments including site investigation, construction, piling and heavy lifting operations.

Since its launch in 2002, Vagant has been used on a variety of projects including the salvage of car carrier 'Tricolor' in 2003, the largest civilian peace time salvage operation ever undertaken, and the construction of offshore wind farms including one off the Danish coast south of Samsoe and on the Thornton Bank off the Flemish coast, where Vagant undertook geophysical survey  work.

Earlier this year the vessel was working on the Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm approximately 7km south-east of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex UK, where it was involved in geotechnical investigations and boreholes. This is the second wind farm to be started in the Thames Estuary and approaches and will comprise 30 turbines  generating some 108MW each. Gunfleet 2 will add a further 18 turbines. Both are operated by DONG Energy, which also has offshore wind farms in the North West of England and South Wales.

Vagant subsequently worked in  the North Sea for BP at the West Sole field assisting with rig movements and re-establishing wellheads and will next be deployed as an accommodation barge.

By Graeme Ewens

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