The largest floatel in the wind industry has arrived at Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm in the Baltic Sea to provide a home for up to 200 workers as they commission the project’s 70 Adwen 5MW turbines.
The newly refurbished 142m MV Bluefort will provide accommodation throughout the commissioning phase of the 350 MW Iberdrola-owned wind farm, sited some 30 kilometres north-east of the German island of Rugen. The vessel is supported by four CTVs and will be in operation 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Bridgemans Services Group LP (BSG) invested more than €6 million in a complete refit of Bluefort in 2016 to ensure it met all the requirements and expectations of offshore wind clients.
BSG president Brian Grange said the company recognised the potential for a premium, cost effective floatel solution specific to the offshore wind industry, and sought client input before embarking on the significant upgrade of the vessel, making it the largest and most efficient in its category.
“We wanted a specifically designed vessel able to meet all the operational, technical and budgetary requirements of clients while offering those staying on-board top class facilities including superior en-suite cabins, lounge areas, restaurants, a cinema, hospital and gym.”
The five-month refurbishment works also included improvements to the CTV landing platform, stern thrusters for better positioning during transfers, helicopter pad, 1,000m2 of office space, a 200-seat briefing theatre, plus meeting rooms and enhanced IT services.
Substantial stability upgrades also ensure that the vessel meets all safety compliance regulations for operations in the North Atlantic, North and Baltic Sea regions.
“The high-capacity storage and exceptional fuel efficiency mean that the vessel is unique in terms of stamina, having the ability to stay at sea for up to four months if required, with CTVs to deliver fresh produce,” he said.
“Bluefort’s size and scale makes it a cost effective accommodation proposition from just 70 people, enabling us to be a highly economic solution for offshore wind projects and we believe she is the only vessel capable of scaling up to meet the needs of 200 passengers.
It is BSG’s objective to ensure Bluefort is the preferred floatel for the offshore wind sector and in line with this has planned further IT and asset upgrade works for later in 2019.
Wikinger is Bluefort’s second offshore wind project, having supported MHI Vestas in the Belgian waters of the North Sea in 2017.
“We are delighted to once again be selected to support a flagship offshore wind project in Northern Europe and confirm our commitment to this growing global industry.”
The vessel is represented by global shipbroker Clarksons Platou’s Offshore Renewables team.
Clarkson Platou’s David Matthews added: “BSG’s Bluefort is a winning solution for offshore projects, with its impressive size and flexibility to change. To accommodate 200 people with 34 crew, working 24 hours a day is staggering. The CTVs work 24 hours with a second crew sleeping on board the mother ship. The teams are well rested, entertained and comfortable when off-duty. We look forward to seeing Bluefort support more offshore wind projects in the years to come”.