First German built jack-up sails from Sietas

Aeolus, the first jack-up vessel built in Germany for offshore wind farms, glides onto the Elbe Aeolus, the first jack-up vessel built in Germany for offshore wind farms, glides onto the Elbe

Aeolus, the first jack-up vessel for offshore wind farms designed and built in Germany left the Sietas Shipyard this week.

Constructed for the Dutch marine engineering company Van Oord, Aeolus passed through the Este barrage of Hamburg port and travelled along the river Elbe to Bremerhaven.

Berthold Brinkmann, administrator at Sietas Shipyard said: "I am proud of what the employees at Sietas shipyard have accomplished with this ship. They have always put in the maximum effort in the course of the insolvency process, and as a result a highly complex special purpose vessel has been produced for demanding offshore wind farm projects. At the same time I would like to thank the company Van Oord and in particular director, Mr Peter Bunschoten, for their trust in Sietas shipyard with this order during the ongoing insolvency process. The vessel is proof of the efficiency and internationally competitive expertise in construction and building services at Sietas Shipyard. It is the first time a special purpose ship such as this has been developed and built at a German shipyard. Sietas and Van Oord have reached a milestone in German shipbuilding today."

Dr Tobias Brinkmann negotiated and finalised the new Van Oord construction contract during the Sietas insolvency process for the administrator along with director Peter Bunschoten and legal counsel Ingrid Pieters, both from Van Oord. Sietas Shipyard then built the ship without any public funding or loans.

Design and building phases

Following the initial construction phase, the steel work for the hull was first completed on a building platform in the dock at Sietas Shipyard. The jack-up vessel was then removed from the platform so that it floated in the dock for final assembly. In recent months the deckhouse, containing the bridge, cabins for the crew and a kitchen, was erected, as well as four so called jack-houses, each containing the hydraulics and the lifting system for the stilts on which the ship can be raised when at sea. In the last step, the crane was installed. It comes from the former Sietas subsidiary Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik (NMF), now part of the TTS Group.

With commissioning, the construction of the ship has now been completed. The special dimensions of its four stilts, each 84m in length, and their ‘shoes’ mean that they have to be fitted outside of the port of Hamburg.

During the construction period Sietas Shipyard also worked closely with the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), which kept the dock and access from the river Este to the river Elbe clear by dredging.

The Sietas jack-up vessel has been developed for use in offshore wind farms. It has a carrying capacity of up to 5,600 tonnes and can work safely in water depths of up to 45m. It can load itself, has DP2 equipment that positions it very precisely, keeping it stable even in heavy seas, and a jacking system with the four stilts, each weighing around 1,000 tonnes and with a diameter measuring 4.50m.

The innovative special purpose vessel is 140m long and 38m wide, with a moulded depth of 9.12m, and a draught of 5.7m. Its service speed is 12 knots. The diesel-electric drive with four sets of generators delivers a total of 20,000kW. The special offshore crane can lift a 900 tonne load with a jib reach of 30m and up to a height of some 120m above the water. The installation ship will accommodate 74 crew members during its deployment at wind farms.

In July 2014 the Aeolus will begin its first charter, workingon the construction of the Eneco Luchterduinen windfarm off the coast of the Netherlands.

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