Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Heavy Lift Operator Orders First Giant Semi-Submersible Vessel for Offshore Operations

Multi-Purpose Craft has Unique Abilities
Shipping News Feature
NORWAY – NETHERLANDS – GERMANY – Norwegian heavy transport vessel operator, Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) is set to enter the offshore renewables and installation market with a unique new vessel for applications in the wind energy sector, decommissioning, the installation of offshore platforms, and for general heavy-duty maritime transport. The customised ULSTEIN Alfa Lift design has been developed by Dutch design company Ulstein Design & Solutions (UDSBV) in close cooperation with OHT and the first vessel, with options for up to another 3 units, will be constructed by China Merchant Heavy Industry (CMHI) to be deployed from early 2021.

The 216.3 metre long, 48,000 dwt DNV GL class vessel will be able to perform heavy lift crane operations with the main deck submerged. The patent-pending design combines the benefits of a semi-submersible transport vessel with the abilities of a HLC 150000, a large, 3,000 tonne lifting capacity main crane from Liebherr.

The vessel’s capabilities match the future requirements of the offshore wind industry, allowing her to transport and install up to ten 1,500t ultra-large jacket foundations or eleven 2,000t XXL monopiles plus transition pieces for the largest anticipated Wind Turbine Generators. Edwin van Leeuwen, managing director at Ulstein Design & Solutions, commented:

“We started the development of the ULSTEIN Alfa Lift idea back in 2015 with the driver to increase the safety of submerged operations and at the same time increasing the operability window for subsea installations using a crane.”

In other related news Ulstein Verft has just signed a ship building contract with the Germany-based Bernhard Schulte for a service operation vessel (SOV) of its ULSTEIN SX195 design type developed by the group. The 93.4 metre long craft is the third service operation vessel to be delivered to the German ship managers and is due to be handed over early in 2020.

The design is modified to fulfil the GE Renewable Energy tender requirements and the ship owner’s special choices of mission equipment. It has a large, centrally positioned 'walk to work' motion compensated gangway and elevator tower for personnel and cargo transfers, and its position whilst operating, stern towards the weather, means little noise or vibrations caused by the waves allowing the crew proper rest between shifts.

Photo: How the new Alfa Lift vessel will appear when loaded.