Seacat Services, an offshore energy support vessel operator, and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, a global offshore wind manufacturer and service provider, have signed a two-year charter deal to support early operations and maintenance (O&M) activity at the 336 MW Galloper Wind Farm.
Having secured the 56-turbine supply deal for the multi-million-pound project, currently under construction by innogy SE, Siemens Gamesa is now supporting the wind farm as it moves into the operational phase, under the terms of a 15-year service contract.
With the first batch of turbines starting to come online, meeting maintenance plans will be important to ensuring a smooth transition into long-term operations.
For the duration of the 24-month charter, Seacat Services will provide specialist logistical support to the Siemens Gamesa technical teams based out of Harwich, transporting technicians and equipment as they tackle both scheduled maintenance and technical requirements. To fulfill its commitment to the project, Seacat Services will deploy two advanced catamarans from its class-certified, 14-vessel fleet: Seacat Vigilant and Seacat Liberty, 24 meters and 23 meters, respectively.
According to Seacat Services, the two vessels have been chosen specifically to support the variety and demands of the O&M activity that Siemens Gamesa technicians will be undertaking 30 kilometers from shore. Seacat Services’ newest vessel, Seacat Liberty, which will be first unveiled at this year’s Seawork exhibition in June, has been chosen for its high pulling power, complementing the versatility and reliability of the larger Seacat Vigilant, which is fresh from a five-year refit.
“We’ve worked closely with Siemens Gamesa to ascertain which of our vessels are the best fit for this contract and will ultimately create long-term value by ensuring operations at Galloper get off to the strongest start possible,” comments Ian Baylis, managing director of Seacat Services. “We’re thrilled to be introducing Seacat Liberty and the newly refitted Seacat Vigilant onto the contract.”
Due to be fully operational in 2018, the Galloper Wind Farm has created 700 U.K. jobs during construction and will lead to a further 90 long-term East Coast jobs.
Steve Myers, implementation and asset manager at Siemens Gamesa, says, “We chose Seacat Services because we value local expertise and because it is imperative that the vessels we charter for our technicians provide the highest-quality service – not just the lowest costs. When working on projects of this complexity, it is critical that our offshore technicians are in the best position to do their jobs.
“Our engineers and technicians will rely on vessel support through all stages of site operations, from completing planned maintenance, response through reactive maintenance and troubleshooting. Siemens Gamesa can trust that Seacat Services’ crew are trained to the highest industry standards, operating the most versatile, reliable and advanced vessels available to support our offshore workforce at Galloper.”