Norway's Ulstein Group is aiming to become a leading player in the growing offshore wind industry designing and building vessels for some of the world’s toughest areas and demanding operations.
"The knowledge of how to integrate technical, operational and commercial aspects in a vessel design is paramount when contributing to the LCOE (Levelised Cost Of Energy) reduction in future offshore wind projects," said a release from the shipbuilder.
New offshore wind farms are being developed further from shore, in rougher seas and deeper waters. This increases the need for higher carrying capacities, comfortable accommodation, vessel flexibility and operational availability and safety.
The current development in offshore wind industry towards larger turbines and deeper waters is stressing the capacities and capabilities of the existing fleet.
"From vessels used in survey and seabed preparations, to vessels dedicated to installation, service and operation and cable laying, we see a general trend towards larger and therefore often more expensive vessels," said the release.
Ulstein’s customized Alfa Lift design for the Norway-based shipowner Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) is a break-through of this trend, by applying smarter design principles. Relying on the Archimedes’ principle, the Alfa Lift design can achieve a higher operational performance compared to existing vessels without compromising the economic performance of the operations.
The Alfa Lift vessel will be performing transportation and installation of foundations for offshore wind farms. The flexibility inherent in its design opens up the possibility to carry out heavy transportation, installation and decommissioning activities in other markets.