A changing offshore world demands innovative vessels
The worldwide demands for energy are constantly high and, despite the economic conditions, still growing. In the upcoming years renewable energy, oil and gas will become indispensible to meet the increasing energy consumption. Many major companies are exploring possible ways to generate renewable energy and produce oil or gas from the most remote and inaccessible areas, including offshore
locations. Logically offshore activities are booming and evolving rapidly. Due to these developments offshore activities are forced to adapt. With an increasing emphasis on safety and sustainability many working methods nowadays are revised and improved. Reducing logistic and operational costs to a minimum is the biggest challenge ahead since offshore locations are built in the most harshest environments, further from land facing higher waves.
As a result of this changing offshore world, the needs for offshore supporting vessels are continuously increasing which requires innovative vessel designs. In close consultation with the offshore industry
Royal Wagenborg developed a new type of specialized maintenance support vessel. The vessel´s design combines many functional requirements which are considered essential for offshore activities. Both the offshore wind power industry as the offshore oil and gas industry will benefit from this vessel. Dubbed the ‘Walk to Work’ vessel, the new unit is a genuinely unique design that will play a crucial role maintaining and servicing unmanned offshore locations in a manner consistent to the developments in the offshore world.
Discover how efficiency, safety, comfort and the environment inspired the vessel´s concept and her design.
The vessel's concept and design principles
By adding a new type of vessel to her fleet Royal Wagenborg again took a new step in her existence. This new build offshore maintenance vessel, dubbed the ‘Walk to Work’ vessel, will enable offshore activities to be executed in a more efficient, safe, comfortable and costeffective manner.
The dynamic positioned vessel combines a work shop, a storage space, accommodation facilities and a transport method in one single design. Equipped with motion compensated elements, such as an offshore access system and crane, the vessel is designed to be operational 300 days a year. This way logistic processes can be optimized during maintenance and servicing activities in the offshore wind power and oil & gas industry. The vessel’s autonomy will reduce helicopter flights to offshore locations resulting in substantial cost savings.
Transferring people and equipment from the vessel to an offshore installation must be performed in the most safest way possible. Offshore crews will be able to literally ‘walk to work’ by using the access bridge making offshore access easy as crossing the street. The most challenging feature of the vessel´s design is the motion compensated crane, which can safely transfer equipment from the vessel onto
an offshore installation. Especially the ability to safely compensate for pitching and rolling motions in addition to heave, will be an added value. The motion compensated access system and crane are able to compensate waves up to 2,5 meters.
The vessel is specially designed for people who are not used to sailing. Avoiding seasickness is important in the vessel’s design and results in a pleasant working environment and comfortable cabins.
The Walk to Work vessel can be considered as an environmental friendly support vessel due to features as a low power consumption and low noise thrusters. The vessel is unmatched in energy efficiency and enables considerable fuel saving possibilities. Classified as a Clean Ship the Walk to Work vessel can be marked as a green vessel.
Innovative by combining many features
The Walk to Work vessel is a unique maintenance support vessel. Due to the combination of many features this vessel is a product the world has never seen before. Please read more about the detailed specifications.
A: Motion compensated gangway
A fully integrated Ampelmann access system will be used to transfer people from the vessel to fixed or floating offshore structures and to transfer small cargoes or equipment. The Ampelmann has a self-stabilising hexapod with six hydraulic cylinders of 2 m each, which compensate the motion of the waves up to 2.5 m. The gangway has a maximum operational length of 22 m.
B: Motion compensated crane
Lifting operations can be executed safely at sea with a special three- dimensional neutral and heave compensated hook: the Barge Master T40. This pedestrial configured crane is designed to minimise its footprint on the vessel. Roll, pitch and heave motions are compensated with a system of five vertically mounted cylinders, which are placed between the vessel and the crane. The lifting capacity is 5 tonnes at 20 m and 15 tonnes at 10 m.
C: Voith Schneider Propulsion system
The Walk to Work vessel will be equipped with two Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP). This specialised marine propulsion system has five vertical blades which can all rotate vertically. The VSP enables stepless control of thrust in terms of magnitude and direction. Besides that, the thrust and propulsion efficiency are equal in all directions. The VSP makes extremely fast and precise thrust changes possible. Furthermore, the propulsion system enables efficient dynamic positioning under extremely harsh weather conditions, and roll stabilisation and damping with the vessel stationary at low speed.
D: Green DP® system
Synamic positioning (DP) is a computer-controlled system, which automatically maintains a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters. The Walk to Work vessel is equipped with the Kongberg GreenDP® system. The GreenDP® is a DP system designed to reduce fuel consumption. This sophisticated system employs a control strategy that uses the smallest possible thrust vector, and thus power, to keep the vessel inside user-defined boundaries of the working and operational area. Studies have shown that a minor sacrifice in station keeping accuracy pays off by a fuel reduction of about 20%.
E: Accommodation facilities
The Walk to Work vessel offers accommodation facilities for 60 people, including 20 crew and 40 maintenance and service staff, working two shifts.
F: Chemical supply and cold Start-up
The Walk to Work vessel will be able to start up production wells from which natural gas will be produced. A special tank installation, containing six different chemicals, will be situated below deck, which is unique in the world. Additionally, a separate pump room will be installed for MEG to activate ‘sleeping wells’ under high pressures of up to 425 bar.
G: Deck space of 500m2
Because all tanks are situated below deck, a huge deck space of 500 m2 is available for other maintenance equipment.
H: The daughter craft
The Daughter Craft of the Walk to Work vessel is specially designed for man overboard situations, Ampelmann failures and even crane failures. The rescue boat is fully compliant with SOLAS UK and Dutch continental shelf regulations. It is fitted for three crew members and 12 passengers.