ONP, Renewable Resources Develop Heavy Lift Offshore Wind Installation Vessel


A consortium led by Hamburg-based ONP Management and Boston-based Renewable Resources International has developed the Jones Act-compliant transport and installation vessel solution Feederdock for offshore wind.

In collaboration with a U.S.-based global asset manager, the Feederdock has been advanced to market readiness. The parties engaged Hamburg-based Tractebel Overdick, a naval architect group and specialist for the design of heavy lift jack-up vessels.

Tractebel Overdick delivered the design for the Innovation, another heavy lift jack-up vessel, and developed the complete design and engineering package of the Feederdock main vessel from the initial concept design throughout the basic design phase. The Feederdock assets will be operated by Bremen-based Atheleon, formerly known as SAL Renewables and part of the Harren Group.

With a crane capacity of 3,000 tons and a crane hook height of up to 182 meters above deck, Feederdock is designed to install the 25 MW wind turbine generation including foundations up to 2,800 tons. Its leg length of 131 meters grants the ability to cope with water depths of up to 70 meters.

Feederdock applies proven European installation methodology with its U-shaped, global heavy lift jack-up installation vessel, paired with U.S.-built Jones Act Articulated Tug Barges (ATB) docking inside the installation vessel before jacking-up. This unique arrangement avoids challenging “floating-to-fixed” component transfers at sea by enabling a secure “fixed-to-fixed” turbine installation process.

“We are proud of leading the development of this innovative and future-oriented project with an unrivaled capability for the rising offshore wind sector in the United States,” says Martin Rahtge, managing partner at ONP Management. “Our experience, striving from the successful design, construction and long-term operation of four heavy lift installation vessels, including both the Innovation and Vol au Vent, illustrates our ability to serve the development of this game-changing project and to grant a successful project realization. All our lessons learned have been incorporated into the Feederdock design and are constantly being benchmarked with the industry.”

 “Feederdock addresses several developer challenges: the solution allows full port flexibility, enables local content sourcing, as the feeders can reach facilities behind bridges, and provides significant productivity advantages by shortening installation campaigns,” states Andy Geissbuehler, managing partner at Renewable Resources International. “We are committed to deliver a timely and effective marine logistics solution to support the rapid growth of offshore wind in the U.S. and globally.”

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is accompanying the project to review and class the Feederdock vessel and has issued the Approval in Principle in 2020, constituting compliance of the vessel design with the applicable requirements.

“We are proud to provide our services to this innovative marine logistics solution which we believe will serve the rapidly expanding U.S. offshore wind industry well,” comments Greg Lennon, head of global offshore wind for ABS.

“We believe that the fixed-to-fixed feeder concept will provide developers a significant competitive advantage and we are well prepared to add the three Jones Act ATBs to our U.S. operations and to operate the Feederdock heavy lift jack-up installation vessel long-term,” adds Heiko Felderhoff, managing director at Atheleon.

The vessel construction works are planned to commence in 2023. Feederdock is scheduled to be ready for operations in U.S. waters in 2026.

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