July 29, 2010
Seafox and Keppel FELS to build advanced wind turbine installation vessel
The Seafox Group has selected Keppel FELS Limited's multi-purpose self-elevating platform (MPSEP) design as the basis for a new-generation, wind turbine installation vessel.
Founded in 1991, the Seafox Group is a leading provider of offshore accommodation and multi-support service jack ups across the world, with a primary focus on the southern North Sea. It has extensive experience operating and managing assets in this region, known for its stringent rules and regulations, and difficult environment. Currently, the group owns five jack-ups and 50 temporary accommodation units.
A 75/25 joint venture (JV) company has been formed by Keppel FELS and Seafox to build and own this US$220 million vessel. Seafox has the option of acquiring Keppel's 75 percent stake in the JV company.
The vessel is designed to withstand harsh offshore environmental conditions all year round in water depths of 65 m in the North Sea It will be able to operate in water depths some 45 percent deeper than existing wind turbine installation vessels, and the majority of those being constructed. Downtime will be reduced even in extreme storm conditions, providing a potentially longer operational window. With a carrying capacity of up to 12 turbines at a time, it enhances the efficiency of constructing offshore wind farms.
Designed by Keppel's R&D arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS MPSEP has the ability to install and maintain heavy wind turbine foundations, including the jacket and tripod types, in deeper waters. In addition to being well-suited for servicing offshore wind farms, it also meets all the stringent operating regulations of the offshore oil and gas industry and can support a wide range of related activities such as accommodation, well intervention, maintenance, construction and decommissioning.
Mr. Wong Kok Seng, Executive Director of Keppel FELS, said, "The offshore wind energy market holds good potential for installation and maintenance vessels that can operate over long periods in deeper waters beyond 45 m.
"The KFELS MPSEP will offer significant advantages in terms of safety, operations, time and cost to operators working in these harsh environments. By overcoming the typical limitations of the existing fleet in the market, this advanced vessel will redefine the way in which offshore wind farms are installed and maintained across the world."
The KFELS MPSEP vessel is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2012, and will be managed and operated by Workfox BV, a member of the Seafox Group.
Mr. Keesjan Cordia, Managing Director of Seafox Contractors BV, commented, "When completed, this ground-breaking vessel named SEAFOX 5, will address and overcome critical technical and safety challenges faced in the construction and maintenance of wind farms in deeper waters, and carve a critical niche for Seafox and Keppel."