Finland's Wärtsilä and Norway's Aker Solutions are combining their respective fields of expertise to develop the ultimate environmentally friendly offshore wind farm installation vessel concept, designed for operating in IMO emission control areas. Under a contract signed earlier this year, Wärtsilä will provide the ship design, electrical power generation, propulsion machinery and high-end automation, while Aker will supply the jacking system.
The two companies have already earmarked what they consider to be the ideal technologies for this custom-designed vessel and will market the concept as a complete package that ticks all the boxes in terms of available deck space, crane capacity, year-round and allweather operational capability and cost-efficient operating systems.
Three Wärtsilä 6L34DF and two 9L20DF dual-fuel engines will provide main and auxiliary power. They can operate on LNG with low emissions; similarly, heat from the engine cooling system will be utilized to generate drinking water and to supply hot water for use by the crew.
The onboard accommodation will also use the same heat source, with absorption chiller units providing air conditioning during summer months.
Harnessing its offshore drilling market expertise, Aker will adopt a customized continuous hydraulic jacking system for the truss legs to ensure high performance, redundancy and robustness in harsh environment operations.
‘This new concept is already generating significant interest among that segment of the industry involved with the installation and maintenance of offshore wind farms,' says Wärtsilä Ship Design vice president Riku-Pekka Hägg. ‘There is a notable demand for a high technology, and fully integrated installation vessel design having significant environmentally sound features. We are delighted to be in co-operation with Aker Solutions to fill this need that is especially significant in the North Sea area.
‘We expect to get the first orders this year.' OE