CESA project on servicing ships for offshore wind farms - Challenges with purpose build, converted or adapted ships
Michael Prehn, Deputy director Danish Maritime Member of CESA International Standards for Offshore Wind Farm Vessel10-08-12 1
Introduction and Background Offshore Wind Energy is an emerging market generating specific transport and erection tasks on or beyond the continental shelf. Ships and offshore structures, such as Offshore Wind Farm Construction Vessels and Service Crafts, could be purpose build or converted. These designs deviate from existing ship types currently employed in the offshore oil and gas sector, such as MODU and OSV.
European Offshore Wind Energy Market Installed power of European wind farms could rise to 48 GW in 2020; Availability of offshore vessels and platforms is a prerequisite for the timely execution of this ambitious development plan; VSM and KPMG estimate a demand of 37 erection vessels and 117 service vessels units by 2020; European scenario will be surpassed by similar developments in other emerging offshore wind energy markets world-wide.
Problems identified Only a minority of ships serving the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms are purpose built. Among the existing service vessels some are only marginally converted or adapted to perform their new function in a very demanding environment. Lack of international guidance on minimum requirements for safety and environment protection resulted in significant variations in the safety levels.
Need for an International Approach Ships, shipyards and climate change are global; Provide uniform Safety standards world-wide in order to ensure a level playing field avoiding market distortions (Regulators perspective); Promote Environment Protection by providing appropriate regulatory base for the exploitation of renewable energy sources (Political perspective); Shipyards operate globally and therefore need legal certainty for their investments and innovation activities (Industry perspective).
Progress through Co-operation CESA recommends a proactive regulatory initiative; Dialogue with all stakeholders; No definitive answers to all safety aspects; Further aspects have to be considered, including an appropriate distinction between new and existing vessel types.
Offshore Wind Farm Construction Vessel Van Oord / Sietas
Construction Vessels for OffshoreWind Farms are designed to carry out foundation work, tower and turbine installation as well as maintenance work during the operation phase; are either ship shaped or barge type and can be both self-propelled or without propulsion; are in often characterized by self-elevating or jack-up systems; and can be manned by a considerable number of crew members and special personnel.
Summary of main recommendations OWFCV can be regulated by Guidelines defining the application of requirements from the SPS Code; the MODU Code could be used for intact stability; The construction workers carried on board should be considered as special personnel, not as passengers.OWFCV means a mechanically self-propelled vessel, which is primarily engaged in foundation work, tower and turbine installation and maintenance work, equipped with a self-elevating or jack-up system and carrying special personnel.These Guidelines are not applied additionally to vessels meeting the MODU Code
Offshore Wind Farm Service Crafts Due to specific operational profile, design peculiarities and unusual composition of the person on board OWFSC have to be considered as a new and unconventional ship type. OWFSC are carrying personnel and cargo at relatively high speed on short national or international voyages. They can be characterized as a specific type of cargo carrying High Speed Craft.
Annex 2 - OWFSC should regulated within/by the followinglimitations and requirements: Cargo ship < 500 GT regardless of length; with < 60 persons on board including maritime crew; 2000 HSC Code for cargo craft applies as interpreted by the DNV “Tentative Rules for Service Craft, January 2012”; Health and Basic Safety Certificate acc. to STCW / Category A offshore personnel acc. to Res. A.891(21); Without cabins up to 12 h operation time; and LSA in acc. with Ch. 8 of the SPS Code.
The service and maintenance technicians carried are: able bodied with a fair knowledge of the craft, safety procedures and the handling of safety equipment; acting independently in emergency and do not require special assistance from the crew; not regularly assigned to the craft, are on board for a limited period of time only and have no tasks in the normal operation of the craft (Res. A.891(21)); a special category of personnel not fully compatible with existing definitions in IMO instruments.
Definition of persons onboard in IMO Instruments: SP ≤ 12
Offshore Wind Farm Service Crafts Summary and Outlook SWATH / A&R
Proposals contained in DE 56/12 Develop suitable classification of offshore wind farm vessels with special consideration of erection and service vessels; Develop non-mandatory guidelines clarifying the application of existing IMO instruments to these type of vessels; Clarify the status of the specialized personnel carried on-board; and Define appropriate training and certification provisions for the special personnel.
The initiative was supported, DE 56 agreed: that there was no need for the development of a separate Code for wind farm vessels; that there is an urgent need to (…) consider the application of existing IMO instruments to OWFCV and OWFSC (…) and to (…) clarify the application of relevant requirements concerning industrial personnel transported by sea; to a focal point (UK) to collect concrete proposals for DE 57.
The way forward Development of a structure incorporating the proposals for erection vessels and service crafts; Guidelines for Design and Construction of Offshore Wind Farm Support Vessels; containing separate recommendations for the two new ship types in a Part A and B;