Production of Dutch vessel starts at insolvent German yard

03 Apr 2012
Steel sections for the jack-up vessel in the Sietas shipbuilding hall

Steel sections for the jack-up vessel in the Sietas shipbuilding hall

The Sietas shipyard in Hamburg has made a start on the construction of the first sections and blocks of the offshore wind power jack-up vessel for Dutch marine engineering company Van Oord.

In the presence of Peter de Ridder, COO of Van Oord, his engineers, and the Sietas team, receiver Berthold Brinkmann and Rüdiger Fuchs, agent for the receiver, gave the go-ahead for work to begin. Van Oord first placed the order in December 2010 with the Sietas shipyard, which was only able to execute the order in the context of the insolvency proceedings with a new agreement. This new order was then placed in February 2012.

Sietas is the first German shipyard to build such a special-purpose vessel. Delivery is scheduled for the spring of 2013. In addition, Van Oord has an option on a second vessel of the same type.

"We are delighted to be starting on the construction of this vessel. It is the first of a new generation for us," said Mr de Ridder. "We are working very closely with the Sietas shipyard on this project, and we know that we will be getting a reliable, high-quality ship. The offshore market and the wind farms are getting more and more challenging. In future the foundations for more and more of these wind farms will be laid in water depths of up to 50m, instead of the current 30m. The turbines to drive the generators will in future require a power output of 5-6MW, so they have become bigger and heavier. That is why we need this new type of vessel."

A team comprising around 10 project managers, engineers and electricians from Van Oord will be at the Sietas shipyard throughout the entire construction period. Together with Van Oord, Sietas developed the special-purpose vessel in 12 months. Operating as architect and integrator, the Sietas shipyard in collaboration with its subsidiary Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik (NMF) is providing the development and construction of the installation ship and the offshore crane from a single source.

"We would like to thank Van Oord for giving the order to the Sietas shipyard. The offshore wind power jack-up vessel is groundbreaking for us and for German shipbuilding. At the same time I would also like to thank the Sietas employees: they all worked together as a team to reinstate the order," said Mr Brinkmann.

Mr Fuchs added: "It is a very special moment for us, now that this special-purpose vessel is moving from the design phase into production. For the Sietas shipyard this is the most challenging ship that we have ever developed and built. We are delighted that we can now realise the project."

The Sietas jack-up vessel was developed for use far from the coast in offshore wind fields. It is designed for a transport capacity of up to 6,500dwt and to work safely in water depths of up to 45m, with its self-loading capacity and jacking system, which keeps it stable in choppy seas. The type 187 ship is 139m long and 38m wide. It has a draught of 5.7m and a speed of 12 knots. NMF will equip the ship with an offshore crane which can lift a 900-ton load with a reach of 30m and work at a height of about 120m above the water. The vessel will accommodate 74 crew members during its deployment in wind energy fields.

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