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Archive for the category “offshore”

The Giants of a New Energy Age

Aeolus animation

We’re all familiar with the images of offshore giants of the outgoing oil age: the oil platforms of the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and Brasil. But the new giant wind turbine installation vessels of the upcoming wind energy age aren’t any less impressive.

[] – Value Offshore Wind Installation Vessels Set to Soar:

The global market value for offshore wind turbine and foundation installation vessels will increase more than fivefold, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. Namely, the market value is set to increase from an estimated USD 0.56 billion in 2014 to approximately USD 2.93 billion by 2020, representing an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30%…
Europe is by far the biggest market for offshore wind power, estimated to account for over 90% of global turbine installation vessel revenue in 2013, and GlobalData expects this market to see substantial future growth. Despite the many projects currently planned or under construction in Europe, a limited number of offshore wind-specific installation vessels are operating at present, although this number will have increased from just two in 2005 to more than 40 by the end of 2014, according to the report’s findings.

That was 2014, now is 2017. Have a look at this database of (mostly) dedicated wind farm vessels:

[] – Heavy maintenance and construction vessels

244 heavy lifting and construction
268 construction support ships
519 wind farm service vessels

A few ships from this database for which videos could be found:

Aeolus, Van Oord, Rotterdam, The Netherlands [Current location]

Neptune, DEME, Zwijndrecht Belgium [DEME fleet overview]

Innovation, DEME, Zwijndrecht, Belgium. Built in Bremerhaven, Germany. [Current location]

Pacific Orca. Registered in Cyprus. Built by Samsung in South Korea. Owned by Swire Pacific Offshore, Singapore. Operates in the North Sea. [Current location]

A2SEA Sea Challenger, Fredericia, Denmark. Built by Cosco Shipyard Group Co. Ltd. China. [Current location]

Blue Amber, German construction proposal.

MPI Adventure, Cosco Nantong Shipyard, China. Owned by Adventure Shipping BV, The Netherlands. [Current location]

Gemini Wind Park Construction Highlights

Veja Mate offshore wind farm installation (Germany)

Working with these kind of ships can be risky. Here an example where one of the legs broke off (Angola, oil exploration, not wind installation)

Wind Server, DBB Jack-Up Services, Aarhus, Denmark. Built by Nordic Yards in Wismar, Germany [Current location]

Brave Tern, Norway. Fred Olsen Wind Carrier. Registered in Malta. [Current location]

Bold Tern, Norway. Fred Olsen Wind Carrier. Registered in Malta. [Current location]

[5 days on Brave Tern & 5 days on Bold Tern]

MPI Enterprise, MPI Offshore, registered in The Netherlands. Renamed from Victoria Matthias. Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. [Current location]


Zwijndrecht 15 January 2014 – DEME has ordered two new vessels serving the offshore energy market. Contracts have been signed with shipyards La Naval in Spain and Uljanik in Croatia to build respectively the multipurpose vessel “LIVING STONE” and the self-propelled jack-up vessel “APOLLO”. Both vessels will be delivered in 2017.

Sea Jack, A2SEA, Denmark. Built by Ravenstein BV, The Netherlands in 2003. [Current location]

Sea Worker capsized near Denmark. Jackup operations are risky.

Seajacks Leviathan. Seajacks UK, registered in Panama. [Current location]

Seajacks Scylla. Seajacks UK, registered in Panama. [Current location]

Seajacks Kraken. Seajacks UK. Dual mode oil/gas and wind power installation. Completed a 15 month contract with DONG Energy to perform wind farm installation work at the Walney wind farm located in the Irish Sea [Current location]

Offshore Wind Life Expectancy

Offshore wind farms are designed for a life expectancy of 20 years. The truth is that nobody really knows how long they can really last as there are no decommissioned offshore projects yet. Chances are that this 20 years is an over-conservative estimate and that the real economic life of at least the monopiles and tower could be much longer than designed for. If you realize that nacelle and blades constitute merely 15-20% of the total cost of a wind-turbine and monopile and tower the remaining 80-85%, it is easy to see that a dramatic lifespan increase of the latter beyond 20 years will equally dramatically reduce overall wind-turbine (and kWh) cost. Let’s assume that monopile and tower can exist for 60 years… that would mean that the cost of the turbine per year would decrease from 100 units in 20 years to (3 x 20 + 80) / 3 = 47 units, assuming tower + monopile cost of 80 of the total wind turbine price. That’s 47% of the per year cost.

[] – Offshore wind farm lifetime extensions: why the ‘beyond 2020’ energy policy dialogue must start now

The agreed 20-year design lifetime means engineers can design to meet one consistent requirement, ensuring that new components can be guaranteed to work reliably and be insured for that period… For wind farms onshore, it may be cost-effective to simply replace nacelles and blades at the end of a 20-year design life, for about 15 to 20 percent of the cost of a new turbine. Because of space constraints and permitting expense, reusing the same wind farm area and layout makes sense, and turbine size cannot scale up much more for future land based turbines, for social reasons… Offshore wind is trickier, and complicating factors limit the potential for repowering.

Anecdotal “evidence” of wind energy longevity: the oldest windmill in the Netherlands, build long before America was ever heard off (1441 or older), still working fine (maintenance is everything). Open and working every Wednesday in Zeddam.

[source] Parisian icon Eiffel tower, a steel structure of meanwhile 128 years old. No reason to assume why it can’t last for another 2-3 centuries or more. The maritime environment is admittedly harsher than Paris, but still… 20 years?

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