Company executives gathered at December 1st at the REBO-terminal in the the port of Oostende to christen the ‘Esvagt Mercator’.
The ship readies to support more than 100 offshore wind turbines in Belgian waters.
Offshore wind continues its growing industrialisation in Belgium as MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and Esvagt today will announce the inauguration of the market’s newest state-of-the-art service vessel.
The vessel, christened as ‘Esvagt Mercator’, will support 50 turbines at Nobelwind, Belgium’s newest offshore wind farm, and 55 turbines at Belwind 1.
MHI Vestas Chief Operations Officer, Flemming Ougaard, said, “With the inauguration of Esvagt Mercator, we are deepening our commitment to the Belgian offshore wind market and our expertise in the operations and maintenance business. The collaboration with Esvagt in the design of such an advanced service operations vessel has been outstanding. We look forward to utilising all this ship has to offer in maintaining the turbines at Nobelwind and Belwind 1.”
The 10-year lease agreement deepens the relationship between the two companies in the region and will provide the latest in service operation vessel technology. A vessel such as ‘Esvagt Mercator’ is a key driver in increasing service efficiency and turbine availability – essential issues for the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
“Esvagt is proud to continue our partnership with MHI Vestas in developing the most efficient and safe solutions in the offshore wind industry. As two market leaders, we are joined in our commitment to being innovative and bringing efficient service solutions to offshore wind farms”, said Søren Karas, Chief Commercial Officer at Esvagt.
The brand new, 58 metre ship, outfitted with the latest energy and fuel optimization technology, will operate from the Port of Oostende. It will be a home for 36 people for up to two weeks at sea. The ship is equipped with three safe transfer boats designed for safe and efficient transfer of personnel from the ‘Esvagt Mercator’ to the turbine. MHI Vestas has an operations and maintenance base in Oostende with 65 people in permanent employment.
About MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind is a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems A/S 50% and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries* (MHI) 50%. The company’s focus is to design, manufacture, install and service wind turbines for the offshore wind industry. The company aims to create sustainable value through offshore wind power by driving capital and operating savings and increasing the power output of wind turbines. An innovative force in offshore wind since its inception in 2014, the company is guided by its founding principles of collaboration, trust, technology and commitment. For more information, see www.mhivestasoffshore.com.
Esvagt is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities. For more than 35 years, Esvagt has supported the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialised services.
In 2010, Esvagt brought the dedicated Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the emerging offshore wind market. The SOVs provide accommodation for technicians, spare time facilities, offices and conference rooms, storage for small turbine parts, workshops, etc. The SOV concept offers flexible personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats (STB). One unique feature with the Esvagt SOV is the shore-going STB 12 offering crew change and a flexible supply of spare parts; freeing the mothership from frequent port calls and maximizing the presence in the offshore wind farm. Founded in 1981; Esvagt has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and approximately 900 employees on- and offshore.
For more information, see www.esvagt.com/wind
About the ‘Esvagt Mercator’
The ‘Esvagt Mercator’ is the latest development of ESVAGT’s pioneering SOV concept.
“Each Esvagt SOV is designed according to the customer’s needs and specifications. ESVAGT has serviced MHI Vestas Offshore Wind in the Belwind 1 offshore wind turbine farm with the ’Esvagt Supporter’ for six years. The new ‘Esvagt Mercator’ has been optimised to suit the exact requirements in this specific park”, says Kristian Ole Jakobsen, Chief Operational Officer for Esvagt. “The ‘Esvagt Mercator’ shows the versatility of the SOV concept. This SOV is significantly smaller than the other SOVs already in operation, and it is equipped differently too. For example, transfers to the offshore wind turbines will be solely performed using Safe Transfer Boats; STBs. The vessel is equipped with two STB 7 and one larger STB 12”.
About the Port of Oostende
Since 2013, MHI Vestas has operated from the Port of Oostende. The company started with 30 people managing the daily maintenance of the Belwind wind farm (55 turbines). Since last year, Nobelwind (50 turbines) was installed and next year Norther (44 turbines) will be maintained from the hub in Oostende. In total, MHI Vestas maintains 149 turbines from the port. The company has 65 employees at the port and is still hiring. Back in 2008, the Port of Oostende Authority made the strategically correct decision to focus on ‘Blue Growth’, the long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. This is why REBO nv (Renewable Energy Base Oostende) was founded. The port has a dedicated terminal, the REBO terminal for all the necessary infrastructure for the preparation of the installation and maintenance of offshore windfarms.