Intelligent offshore wind SOV/gangway combo puts a focus on rough sea workability

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Innovative SOV features trimaran hull

Spanish engineering company Marcelo Penna Engineering has joined forces with Dutch offshore transfer system specialist Safeway to design an intelligent Service Operation Vessel and gangway combination that puts a high focus on crew comfort, safety, reliability and workability while lowering costs.

The outcome of the collaboration is the DP2 MP625 SOV combined with the recently introduced Safeway Gannet 3D motion-compensated offshore access system with features such as “zero impact bumpering” or “hover-mode” and roll compensation capability.

The SOV is destined to stay in a wind farm, even in the roughest sea conditions. Fitted with the Safeway Gannet 3D motion compensated gangway enables what is claimed to be “a degree of safety, flexibility and effectiveness previously unseen in the international offshore gangway industry.”

Simulation tests have shown that the Spanish/Dutch combination offers high workability throughout the year.

“For both our companies innovation was the key driver behind this partnership. Our common goal was to come up with a high-quality design and cutting-edge technology that would minimize construction and maintenance costs, maximize operational efficiency at sea and reduce any unplanned downtime,” said Marcelo Penna, CEO of Marcelo Penna Engineering. “We are confident that the MP625 SOV and Safeway’s Gannet gangway will become a popular combination in the demanding and fast-growing SOV market.”

The SOV’s trimaran hull allows for up to 21 knots of maximum speed in up to 3.5 meter waves compared to the industry norm of 2.5 meters while providing full comfort for personnel and cargo transfers (between 1,000 kg and 2,000 kg).

Safeway Gannet 3D motion-compensated offshore access system

“Our Safeway Gannet 3D motion-compensated access system was developed in response to evolving requirements for fast, safe and efficient walk-to-work systems such as those being sought by Equinor and its partners for the massive offshore wind farms they plan to build on Dogger Bank,” said Wijnand van Aalst, CEO of Safeway. “Vessel and gangway must be able to connect and transfer personnel and equipment in a significant wave height of 3.5 meters, while the SOV must also be more compact than those built to date for services in the North Sea.”

With a length of 64 meters the MP625 is around 20 meters shorter than current-generation SOVs.

The vessel will be equipped with three powerful diesel engines each coupled with two electric motors offering a hybrid solution with a total output power of 4.4 MW. By equipping the SOV with lithium batteries, the vessel will be capable of remaining in DP for up to 12 hours in silent mode. All these solutions imply a very low fuel consumption.

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