European knowhow for US feeder barge

The BM-T700 will be placed on a US flagged offshore vessel The BM-T700 will be placed on a US flagged offshore vessel

In order to service the emerging US offshore wind markets, GustoMSC and Barge Master have joined forces in the development of a Jones Act compliant motion-compensated feeder solution.

The pair of companies claims that this solution offers a flexible and cost-effective alternative for installing the first wave of US projects before larger purpose-built jack-ups come along. Combining the strengths of both companies creates a strong and advanced technical organization with commercial representative offices in the United States, through which prospective clients will be served.

GustoMSC and Barge Master adopted an integrated approach in order to comply with the Jones Act and overcome the operational restrictions of US ports. The motion-compensated platform BM-T700 will be placed on a US flagged offshore vessel or a seagoing barge in order to feed the wind turbine components fast and safely to the offshore installation site to be installed by a wind turbine installation jack-up.

Barge Master introduced the BM-T700 platform in 2013 and it has proven itself in various projects. By compensating the motions of the vessel, the platform creates a stable lift-off base for a maximum weight of 700 tons in sea states up to Hs 2.5 metres and is Lloyds certified under the lifting appliances rules. As a result, the operations can continue in more adverse weather enabling completion within the execution timeframe.

GustoMSC will perform the naval engineering and the integration of the BM-T700 platform onto a new or existing DPII feeder barge. Although GustoMSC sees sufficient potential for larger purpose-built Jones Act compliant installation jack-ups to cope with the expected increase in turbine size, weights and hub heights, this is a solid solution for the first wave of US projects within the remaining timeframe.

By Jake Frith

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