With the ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’, named in Eemshaven Wednesday (Sep04), ESVAGT solidifies its position as market leader on the SOV wind market. The vessel will service the wind farm Deutsche Bucht for MHI Vestas over the next 15 years.
The cooperation between MHI Vestas and ESVAGT enters a new phase this month, when the newly built Service Operation Vessel (SOV) ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’ embarks on a 15-year long contract in Deutsche Bucht in the southern part of the North Sea.
"Here, ESVAGT will service MHI Vestas’ newly built 269 MW offshore wind farm with a total of 33 wind turbine generators (WTG), and the newbuilding 'Esvagt Albert Betz’ is specially designed for the job, says Gerner Eskelund, Project Director, Newbuilding and Projects at ESVAGT:
‘In the design of the vessel, we have drawn both on ESVAGT’s expertise with SOVs and on know-how from working in offshore wind farms. We have optimised the design to ensure that the vessel is tailored and adapted specifically to the tasks that await’, he says.
The SOV ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’ is a Havyard 831 design similar to the ‘Esvagt Mercator’, which currently services Nobelwind and Belwind 1 for MHI Vestas. The new vessel stands out with a series of details and functions specially built in preparation for the servicing of the farm in Deutsche Bucht.
‘The new SOV is a great example of the flexibility that lies in the SOV design’, says Gerner Eskelund: ‘As opposed to the ‘Esvagt Mercator’ that exclusively uses ESVAGT’s own STB 7 and STB 12 design (Safe Transfer Boats) for accessing the WTG, the ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’ has a fixed Walk-to-Work gangway system installed. This requires the capacity of holding a position very close to the WTG, and that is why the vessel is equipped with an increased capacity on thrusters and generators’, says Gerner Eskelund.
With a length of 58 meter, the ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’ is a relatively compact SOV. There has been a substantial focus on optimising the available space – but also on integrating more innovative solutions which intensify efficiency and work environment:
‘The fixed gangway system is combined with a large, stepless elevator designed for people and for cargo, giving full access from the vessel’s stores to the upper deck and on to the WTG. In combination with an integrated crane solution, this contributes to a stepless flow of spare parts, which is a considerable bonus for the work environment and efficiency’, says Gerner Eskelund.
The technicians’ well-being also has a pride of place through for example common facilities, fitness room, cinema and a large outdoor area for relaxation.
A strong cooperation
ESVAGT and MHI Vestas have been working together since 2008. Today, the ‘Esvagt Mercator’ services the offshore wind farms Nobelwind and Belwind in Belgium, and with the ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’, these strong relations will be further strengthened.
The cooperation benefits both parties, says Flemming Ougaard, Chief Operations Officer at MHI Vestas: 'With the ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’, we have developed a top modern vessel that builds upon MHI Vestas and ESVAGT’s agelong joint experience in transferring service technicians safely and efficiently to and from the WTG.The vessel will employ completely new technology, and we look forward to once again raising the bar with ESVAGT in operating an offshore wind farm efficiently’, says Flemming Ougaard.
ESVAGT is also highly satisfied: ‘We are building a close and fruitful partnership with MHI Vestas with a solution that is tailored to the customer’s needs. It is pleasant to see MHI Vestas grabbing the many opportunities that ESVAGT’s unique SOV concept offers’, says Søren Karas, Chief Commercial Officer at ESVAGT.
The cooperation will be further strengthened in the coming years.
In September 2018, MHI Vestas and ESVAGT entered into contracts on the delivery of two additional SOVs for the farms Borssele III-IV (Netherlands) and Triton Knoll (UK); both vessels will be delivered in 2020, and one more contract was signed earlier this year between the two parties: In 2021, an additional ESVAGT SOV newbuilding will be delivered to work for MHI Vestas, this time in the offshore wind farm Moray East in England.
FACTS - ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’
The ‘Esvagt Albert Betz’ has room for 42 WTG technicians and crew. The vessel was built at Zamakona shipyard in Bilbao, which also built the ‘Esvagt Dana’ and the ‘Esvagt Aurora’.
Albert Betz (1885-1968) was a German pioneer in the study of wind energy who put forward the theoretical formulas for the maximal utilisation of wind energy through a WTG.