World’s first class rules for wind farm service vessels

29 Dec 2010
Vessels like this might be built according to the new class notations

Vessels like this might be built according to the new class notations

Det Norske Veritas has developed what it says are the first class Rules for wind farm service vessels, in order to improve safety and promote uniform standards in this developing area.

DNV was planning to publish the Rules 1 January 2011,  but had secured contracts for two vessels in advance of that date. The first vessel built to the new Rules is expected to be delivered by South Boats Medina Shipyard on the Isle of Wight, UK, in March 2011.

According to DNV, offshore wind turbines and large wind farms are becoming increasingly common worldwide as governments seek to meet obligations to provide more renewable energy. The construction and maintenance of wind turbines will require frequent visits by specialist technicians, and high speed light craft have shown to be effective in transporting personnel.

These vessels, typically less than 24m in length and capable of carrying up to 12 technicians, have traditionally been constructed to domestic standards which vary from country to country. This has created difficulties for operators seeking to employ vessels in different jurisdictions across Europe.

Stakeholders within the offshore wind industry, including the flag states, have asked for more transparent and uniform regulation of this segment. Some flag states have indicated that class will become a mandatory requirement for wind farm service vessels in the near future. “There has been strong demand for such class notations in the market,” explains Tor Svensen, DNV president. “Representatives of the following flag states - the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany and the UK - have been consulted to ensure safe, uniform and useful notations, and we have managed to meet this demand within a restricted time.”

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