Exactly one year ago the award winning Walk-to-work vessel KROONBORG started her operations for NAM/Shell UK in the southern North Sea. The vessel is designed to support offshore operations in a more efficient, safe and comfortable manner. Today, during her fortnightly visit at the port of Den Helder, the crew reflects on the achievements during her first year of operation.
Efficient deployment of staff
Before the Kroonborg was deployed, employees were flown by helicopter to the platforms on a daily basis which took about four hours per employee per day. During bad weather, fog, winds or frost, delays were not uncommon. Today Kroonborg can transfer employees to offshore structures using a motion compensated Ampelmann system, compensating for waves up to 2.5 meters. Last year, approximately 12,500 people were transferred safely: an increase in efficiency of 30%.
Safe hoisting of equipment in waves
By using a motion compensated Barge Master crane, Kroonborg proves to be able to lift equipment safely in waves up to 3 metres. With a lifting capacity of 5 tonnes at an outreach of 32 metres, wind turbines and solar cells were replaced on six platforms last year making jack-up vessels and other supply vessels redundant. Last year almost a thousand lifts were performed safely.
For very specialized work on e.g. radio equipment or weather stations at offshore platforms, specialists will board Kroonborg. Annually, for a period of two weeks, Kroonborg visits about 10 platforms dedicated to this kind of work.
The cold start-up unit of Kroonborg also proves to be valuable. New wells can be started by injecting liquids under high pressure. Using Kroonborg’s installation, a well can now be started in only a couple of hours. Normally a complete installation had to be built on the platform. A rather uneconomic undertaking. Last year three wells were started successfully.
Kroonborg seems to surpass all expectations during her first year of operation. No incidents on board nor on the platforms where Kroonborg was active and less impact on the environment using GTL fuel.