VIDEO: Vroon christens first walk-to-work vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 25, 2017 — Vroon B.V. christened its first subsea-support walk-to-work vessel in a July 20 ceremony, held at the Damen Shiprepair shipyard in Amsterdam, in which the vessel was named VOS Start by Mrs Tracie Moyes of MHI Vestas Offshore.

The 80 m vessel had arrived at Damen Oranjewerf on June 1 from her build yard in China for the installation of a motion-compensated gangway system – the first of its kind – by Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth, the extended installation of a Kongsberg reference system (including a “windfarm module”), and an active heave-compensated crane from SMST. In the eight weeks that she was in the yard, the vessel also underwent a wide range of other upgrades and preparations for her first charter.

The VOS Start is the fourth in a series of new vessels for Vroon that have been brought to Oranjewerf for finishing off following their initial build in China. However, this was the first time that Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf and Vroon had worked together on a W2W vessel and, with Barge Master and SMST both Dutch companies, it was logical to do the final installations in the Netherlands with all the necessary expertise and support close by. Other local specialist suppliers also contributed to what has been, owing to the W2W element, the most complex upgrade yet for a VOS subsea support vessel at Oranjewerf.

These specialists included Niron Staal Amsterdam, another member of the Damen Shipyards Group, which fabricated two boat landing ladders which were then installed by Oranjewerf. Other equipment installed include a lightweight taut wire, radius and a Hipap position reference system, all manufactured by Kongsberg. The mountings necessary for up to eight temporary living units, supplied by H2M, were also fitted, along with many other modifications.

Offshore wind parks consist of as many as 100 individual wind turbines, connected by infield cables to transformer stations. The construction and commissioning of an offshore wind park require many visits to each individual turbine. These operations demand a vessel like VOS Start: offering accommodations for the client teams, office space for engineering and project managers, a warehouse to store materials and tools and an on-board workshop to prepare for day-to-day tasks. Most important is an access system that guarantees safe transfer for the teams and their material to and from the wind turbines.

In addition to the many logistic and technical requirements, excellent WI-FI connection is also essential. To ensure optimum client and crew comfort outside working hours, VOS Start is equipped with a cinema and a gym. Clients may spend a minimum of 14 days on board, meaning that multimedia and hotel standards onshore have become the norm for offshore operations.

VOS Start will be delivered to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind in August, at the start of her first charter. She will provide offshore logistics support, accommodation and walk-to-work services during construction of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea.

A sister vessel, VOS Stone, will be delivered to Vroon by Fujian Southeast Shipbuilding in China next week.

VOS Start vessel particulars

Length overall 80.00 m
Lenght B.P.P. 72.38 m
Breadth molded 18.40 m
Depth molded 7.8 m
Design draft 6.00 m
Max. draft molded 5.8 m
Deadweight (Max. Draft) 2,500 t ECDIS 1
Gross tonnage 4,700 t

Main engines 2 x MAK 2,400 kW (3,220 BHP)

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