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Ulstein companies to design versatile installation vessel for Norwind

Written by Nick Blenkey

installermicroBergen, Norway, headquartered NorWind Installer has contracted Ulstein’s Dutch design offices, Ulstein Sea of Solutions, and Ulstein IDEA Equipment Solutions as its design partners for a new foundation installation vessel for the offshore wind industry. The vessel is a customized version of the Deepwater Enabler design from Ulstein.

The DP vessel is designed for world-wide operations with a focus on pre-piling and jacket/tripod/transition piece installation for the offshore wind farm industry in North Europe.

Different deck layouts, based upon NorWind Installer’s installation experience have been developed for the various installation modes on top of the generic vessel platform provided by Ulstein.


The design features an 800 t heave compensated offshore crane on the starboard side, while a pre-piling template can be located on a support structure at the stern. The vessel can carry four jackets on the large open aft deck, or alternatively at least 24 piles or up to 12 transition pieces .

To vessel’s anti-heeling system has been designed to allow the main crane to turn through 180 degrees with a full load in its main hook within 5 minutes, which is very favorable with a large jacket in the crane hook.

Operating in the pre-piling mode, the pre-piling template is positioned on the seabed by the main crane, in parallel a pile is picked up by a gantry crane, put in the upending frame on starboard side and upended.

The main crane has been modified by Ulstein in such a way that it can first pick-up the piling hammer with its main hook and then connect to the upended pile with its auxiliary hook. When the hammer is working on driving the pile into the seabed, the next pile is upended by the upending frame and made ready for crane lift out.


The large aft deck and AHC crane provide flexibility for serving alternative subsea and offshore markets in the future. This flexibility is further increased by the two large holds suitable for carrousels located below main deck.

A version of the vessel has also been developed with a deck lay out suitable for tidal turbine installations.

Voith Schneider propellers of 3,900 kW each will allow for a cruising speed of 13 knots and enhance the DP capabilities of the vessel. To minimize the environmental footprint an NOx reduction system is installed in the exhaust lines.

“After working closely with NorWind Installer in the ABD process, Ulstein started developing the integrated concept for mission equipment and vessel. This project shows the combined strength we can offer to support our clients in realizing their visions”, says Edwin van Leeuwen, project manager at Ulstein.

Main dimensions of the vessel are:
Loa 160.3 m
Lbp 145.5 m
Beam (molded)  32.0 m
Depth (molded)  12.6 m
Draft (operational) 8.0 m
Service speed         13 kn
Installed power 6 x 4,680 kW
Main crane 800t (AHC)

November 28, 2011

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