As the offshore oil and gas sector continues to struggle, offshore contractors and ship owners like Van Oord and Siem Offshore are expanding their business models into the offshore wind sector, an area that continues to see significant investment.
Siem Offshore Contractors have announced a contract win worth upwards of 100 million euro for the turnkey supply and installation package of the inner array grid cable system for the 400 MW Veja Mate Offshore Wind Farm (OWF). Although not specifically mentioned, it is likely this project will utilize the Siem Aimery, a new DP-2, VARD-design cable-lay vessel that is under construction at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Poland and scheduled for delivery this month.
The Veja Mate OWF is located 115km offshore in the German sector of the North Sea and consists of 67, 154-meter diameter wind turbine generators (WTGs) supplied by Siemens, each with a generating capacity of 6 megawatts. The scope of work for Siem Offshore Contractors involves inter-connecting these WTGs utilizing an array grid of 33 kV medium voltage alternating current (MVAC) submarine composite cables with a total length of up to 97 kilometers.
This OWF will be eventually hooked up to the 800 MW Borwin Beta power transformer platform which was installed in April.
Siem Offshore notes in a presentation that wave-related operability issues have historically been a major factor in forcing delays of cable lay operations. They believe the answer to this issue is their USD $85 million Siem Aimery which has a hull design that permits operations in wave heights up to 3 meters plus two cable carousels capable of carrying 4,250 tons of cable, 2 stern launched work-class ROVs and a starboard side deployed trenching ROV. The vessel will be equipped with diesel-electric propulsion system consisting of four main generators providing power to two azimuth propulsion thrusters, two tunnel thrusters and one retractable thruster.
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