Friday, December 10, 2021

Record Breaking Cable Laying Vessel Gets Ready to Work in Any Conditions

Port of Middlesbrough Prepares Ship for Linking UK to Denmark
Shipping News Feature

UK – Pictured is the 171 metre long, offshore wind ship Leonardo do Vinci, just after she set a new record as the largest such vessel ever to pass under Middlesbrough's famous Transporter Bridge when en route to the AV Dawson operated port.

No stranger to records, the ship, built this year for manufacturer and installation of subsea cable outfit the Prysmian Group, is claimed as the most advanced cable-laying vessel in the world. She has the highest cable carrying capacity in the market, plus obviously a very large bollard pull to allow for ploughing in very difficult seabed conditions.

The ship can also operate for extended periods in challenging weather and work to extreme depths laying cable for the offshore wind farms. She has a working depth capacity of 3,000 metres, a total bollard pull of circa 200 tonnes and accommodation for the 120 or so crew. Full details can be seen on this video. Peter Watson, Prysmian’s installation manager said:

“The vessel allows us to offer an ever wider and more versatile range of installation services and strengthen our leadership position in this highly competitive sector. The Leonardo da Vinci will be a key enabler of a carbon-neutral world by 2050. We are delivering most of the biggest projects in the world and the Leonardo da Vinci has a critical role to play in ensuring that our market share grows in the future.”

The state-of-the-art Italian flagged vessel’s first project was on the Viking Link project, the world’s longest electrical interconnector, linking the UK and Denmark utilising wind power from each, and for which she mobilised at the Port of Middlesbrough. The ship will be making regular visits to North East England as Prysmian operates its Northern European marine base from the Port of Middlesbrough. Gary Dawson, AV Dawson’s managing director commented:

“It was an amazing sight to watch the Leonardo da Vinci coming into berth at Port of Middlesbrough. It’s all been very top secret so we’ve not been allowed to talk about it until today, but now we really do want to tell the world as it just illustrates how Teesside and the River Tees is evolving to embrace and lead the way in exciting new industries such as offshore wind.

“Our relationship with Prysmian began with them having just a container of equipment on our site. In the last ten years their Teesside based operation has grown at an incredible rate and they now rent a number of large warehouses on site and use our port to manage all their Northern European marine operations.

“It’s very much a partnership and we’ve made significant investment to support Prysmian’s expansion, from building bespoke warehouses with roof access for cable spooling operations to investing in the quayside. We’ve been planning for the Leonardo da Vinci’s arrival for the last two years.

”This has involved investing millions in dredging a deeper berth and dredging the channel to enable the Leonardo da Vinci to reach the berth. This investment gives us deep-water berths with a depth of up to 9.5 metres plus the tides, which enables us to not only support Prysmian with their largest vessels but also to support other new customers too, in offshore wind and other sectors.”

Photo: The Leonardo da Vinci moored in the Port of Middlesbrough with (inset) an artist’s impression overhead view showing cables in the vast round holds, coiled and ready for laying.