Norwegian-based shipbuilding and design group Ulstein has unveiled the design for a new foundation installation vessel enabling operators and contractors to efficiently transport and install monopiles or jacket foundations up to 5,000 tons.
The new ULSTEIN HX122 vessel features an ULSTEIN X-BOW and an ultra-high-capacity 8,000 mt crane, engineered for the next generation of foundations in the offshore wind industry.
Market analysts and brokers have flagged a projected shortage of foundation installation vessels as existing tonnage and newbuild orders are expected to lag behind projected demand. The problem could only become worse as the size and weight of foundations continue to grow, surpassing the lift capabilities of existing vessels.
“We identified and addressed that issue already some years ago,” said Nick Wessels, Marketing & Sales Manager at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV. “Based on extensive market studies we developed what we believe is the most efficient solution for the industry; the ULSTEIN HX118 design".
"However, the quick developments in this industry create uncertainty with wind farm developers, where we see for some future projects the preference to install even larger foundations up to 5,000 tons. Hence the need for a larger capacity vessel,” Wessels said.
Ko Stroo, Product Manager at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV, said, “Significant R&D effort has been put into the development of our heavy lift vessel portfolio, working closely with industry partners on mission equipment integration, operability performance and lowering CO2 emissions, creating safer and more efficient installation vessels using proven technologies.
“The ULSTEIN HX122 is our latest and largest heavy lift vessel design, allowing contractors to keep pace with the rapid growth of wind turbine foundations.”
Loa 230 m
Beam 61.6 m
Crane capacity 8,000 mt
Deck area 10,000 m2
Deck strength 15 - 30 t/m2
Draught 7.5 – 11 m
Complement 180 persons