Since 2015 the ‘Walk-to-Work vessel’ ‘KROONBORG’ supports Nam/Shell in her maintenance work to offshore platforms in the southern North Sea. This ship, with an uptime of 94% (345 days per annum) amply proved her worth. Taking the Dutch energy transition into consideration, coupled with Shell’s offshore wind ambitions, there’s enough reason to demonstrate the use of all innovative technologies to several interested parties. On December 23rd Kroonborg left the port of IJmuiden with guests from Shell, Eneco, Nuon/Vattenfall, Van Oord and members of the Lower House with destination Offshore Wind farm ‘Egmond aan Zee’, about 10 to 18 kilometres off the coast.
Offshore wind farm ‘Egmond aan Zee’ as demonstration project
Offshore Wind farm ‘Egmond aan Zee’ (OWEZ) is the first large Dutch offshore wind farm and is operated since 2006 by NoordzeeWind (a 50/50 joint venture Shell + Vattenfall). With 36 x 3 MW Vestas V90 turbines, the park has a total capacity of 108MW. OWEZ was declared a demonstration project by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to gain knowledge and experience applicable for future developments regarding wind energy as sustainable energy source. Important success factors in this matter are to what extent wind farms can be built and maintained in a safe manner and how costs of new projects can be reduced.
Innovative technique drives back costs
Haije Stigter, originator of the Kroonborg and initiator of this demonstration is member of Shell’s Offshore wind team which recently won the Borssele 3 and 4 tender. According to Haije Stigter, innovative technologies, like on board Kroonborg, can significantly drive back future investment- and development costs for offshore wind farms. “Not only will the wind farms become larger but they will be placed further out to sea as well. I think that such innovations can help us in maintaining these wind farms. Not only safer but more efficient and effective”, says Haije Stigter.
Wind-force 6 and waves of up to 2 metres: weather conditions in which maintenance using ‘Crew Transfer Vessels’ is impossible but a perfect day for demonstrating Kroonborg’s capacities. In less than an hour from the port of IJmuiden, Kroonborg arrives in OWEZ then, making use of DP, the vessel is positioned at turbine 34, subsequently three people are crossing the gangway without any problems. The guests witnessing this are very impressed. “During my time as project manager for Kroonborg I already knew what this ship is capable of, but after this splendid day, many more people will be enthusiastic about this concept”, concludes Haije Stigter.