Offshore Engineer was recently in Norway to learn more about the newly launched Construction Service Operation Vessel REM Power, and of particular interest for this magazine edition, of its crane.
The vessel's owner REM Offshore is a Norwegian company, for years, best known for its vessels providing support in the oil and gas sector. However, the company has, in the past few years, been expanding into the offshore wind sector.
A testament to these new efforts is the delivery of the REM Power, which Ronny Pål Kvalsvik, Rem Offshore's Chief Commercial Officer, says this is “a game changer” for the SOV market due to the combination of equipment and technology onboard.
Delivered in May 2023, the 85-m long vessel, equipped with a diesel-electric and battery hybrid propulsion system, was completed in Vard Soviknes, in Norway.
It is the world's first vessel of the type to be equipped with Kongsberg Rim-driven azimuth propellers as main propulsion, and it is also equipped with a system that measures the vessel’s environmental impacts throughout each stage of the lifecycle, from raw materials extraction to disposal.
But, as mentioned, for Offshore Engineer's Deck Machinery and Cranes section, REM Power's innovative all-electric, 5-ton, 25-meter, heave compensated crate, developed in collaboration with Seaonics, is arguably the most exciting bit.
At the launch, the company said that Rem Power would be the world's first vessel to be equipped with VARD daughter SEAONICS’ Electric Controlled Motion Compensated (ECMC) crane, securing efficient handling operations for a sustainable future.
“This system allows to always keep the load close to the crane tip from the deck level to the TP platform. The new and innovative crane ensures quick and safe cargo transfer,” the company said.
Seaonic’s sales manager Ståle Fure says the crane is fully 3D compensated, fully electric, and has a completely new design.
“It's on an old principle in a new design, with a telescopic and wire luffing for the luffing boom,” he says.
He also talks about the benefits of going fully electric: “When you go electric, you get a very good response for your access, where you're going to do the compensation for. And this is actually one of the biggest advantages of the electrical solution, that you can get a very accurate motion compensating, and of course, also, to regenerate back power to the grid on the vessel, the AC grid or the DC grid, depends. And, of course, there is no oil in this system at all.”
In 2023 Seaonics won awards for its fully electric and motion-compensated crane, and at the industry conference where the award was presented, it was there that Rem's Ronny Pål Kvalsvik saw the crane concept and started thinking about ordering one.
He says “[Seaonics] presented a crane, and I [thought], this looks interesting. Where can we utilize this technology? How could we do it? And then we started discussing it between us. We have a need. We want to have this capacity. We want to have it electrical.”
And then, Kvalsvik says, the ball started rolling, the company ordered the vessel and realized they needed a higher-capacity crane.
“We needed at least a five-ton. Of course, I had to ask for seven. We need to have harbor lifts that were higher than any cranes had, also, 3D cranes. So this was the background. We needed to have something that was a bit higher than what we saw in the market, and we challenged Seaonics to come up with a solution for,”
Seaonic's Fure said. “We had a [crane] concept, but together with the REM, we actually made it better.
“And, of course, the crane got the higher SWL [Safe Working Load]. We started with two tons, then it got three tons, then we got five tons, now we got seven tons, and we got 15 tons in harbor mode.”
As for the Rem Power, which offers accommodation for up to 120 persons, including 93 windfarm technicians and a crew of up to 27, at the time of speaking with Kvalsvik and Fure, the vessel was working for ASSO Subsea supporting a Vattenfall wind farm construction, providing welfare and transfer services to personnel.
For easier transfer of personnel to and from the vessel and the Rem Power is equipped with a special W2W system (walk to work). The Uptime 30m AMC logistic system is said to consist of the world's first autonomous gangway with artificial intelligence, combined with an integrated elevator tower for personnel and cargo logistics.
It is capable of auto-landing, slip-off detection, integrated crane function for cargo handling, integrated transfer-lines, and stepless access for personnel and cargo.
Watch the interview from Norway on Offshore Engineer TV: