As agents for their shipowners, Njord Offshore – the commercial and technical managers of a fleet of 21m and 26m transfer vessels – have ordered four new 26m catamarans containing quadruple installation Volvo Penta IPS900 complete propulsion systems, based on Volvo Penta marine commercial D13 engines and IPS pod units. The vessels are designed by UK-based naval architect BMT Nigel Gee and are being built in Singapore by Australian shipyard Strategic Marine. The vessels will manage crew transfer and service for the offshore windfarm markets in the North Sea off the Danish, Dutch, German, and British coasts and will be ready for the water by April 2015.
The crew transfer vessels from Strategic Marine were initially designed to accommodate a traditional shaft drive. However when the director of Njord Offshore, Tom Mehew, tested Volvo Penta’s SC Amethyst demo boat at this year’s Seawork International exhibition in Southampton, UK, in June, he was so impressed by the inboard propulsion system’s simple engine room installation, superior handling and bollard pull that designs were changed to accommodate Volvo Penta IPS.
“Our crew vessels, and their propulsion systems, are required to meet a diverse set of parameters. We need speed, efficiency and static bollard push, combined with reliability and redundancy,” Tom explains. “Evaluating our specific needs after Seawork, we found that Volvo Penta IPS came out on top. The advantages of the system’s maneuverability and dynamic positioning functionality won us over.”
Change of tide
“Njord Offshore always puts a strong emphasis on safety, efficiency and reliability,” says Gerard Törneman, sales project manager for Volvo Penta Marine Commercial. “It was only after the project had begun that they realized Volvo Penta was the most cost and time effective solution.
“Luckily Strategic Marine’s naval architect BMT Nigel Gee was able to accommodate the sudden change of plan, ensuring that the vessels could still be delivered on time to the booming European offshore energy market.”
Volvo Penta IPS has long been a safe and secure option for customers operating in the offshore windfarming industry. The precision handling and expert maneuverability of a vessel fitted with Volvo Penta IPS ensure that it can be held in a steady position against the wind turbine, more or less undisturbed by current, wind or waves, using the unit’s active steering and high thrust.
“Windfarming is a naturally clean and environmentally friendly industry, with a major focus on reducing costs as well as emissions,” Gerard explains. “With the industry’s relatively small margins, our customers constantly have to find new ways of cutting costs and saving fuel.”
Volvo Penta IPS is a low-emission option that allows for fuel efficiency of up to 30%, as well as 30% lower CO
emissions. Building and operating a vessel with Volvo Penta IPS also means that customers benefit from one-stop-shop ordering and from the Volvo Penta servicing experience. Due to Volvo Penta’s extensive dealer network, a customer’s complete driveline, including engine, pods and control system, is covered by the extended coverage program.
The quadruple installations are a step in the right direction for Volvo Penta, opening the market for new opportunities. Although crew transfer vessels within the industry are growing in size, Volvo Penta is able to offer highly efficient quadruple installations, giving added redundancy to four separate engines and drivelines. In this way, Volvo Penta ensures that it can meet the demands of companies wanting to travel farther away from the coastline to more remote locations at sea to harvest wind energy.
SMM, Hamburg, Germany
SMM Hamburg 2014 will take place 9-12 September. Visit Volvo Penta at booth A3/415.
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