Comfort at Sea’s offshore accommodation services have already proven their worth on several large scale offshore wind projects, reducing man-hours and downtime significantly.
With thousands of turbines to be installed offshore in years to come, the wind industry is crying out for operational offshore solutions. The long distance from shore to the sites for future projects give quite some headaches in the industry, as bringing technicians and other crew back and forth every day means loss of man-hours as well as requiring lot of resources.
Many alternative solutions have already been put forward to tackle these challenges, and although the new crew transfer vessels are able to carry more passengers and sail at higher speed, man-hours are still lost due to the transport time. However, Comfort at Sea provides a useful alternative which has already proven its worth on large scale wind projects already.
Saving 7,200 working hours
Comfort at Sea is a joint venture between International Shipping Partners Inc. (ISP) and Blue Water Shipping. The two companies have combined decades of global offshore experience and a high quality fleet of former cruise vessels, which have been converted to floating hotels and are now offering offshore accommodation services for the offshore industry.
One of the paramount advantages for the developers of wind parks is minimising the costs for transport of crew to and from the site without breaking the bank. “We have made calculations showing that by using a hotel accommodation vessel, the savings are close to three working hours per day per technician – and if we put 80 technicians on board that is 7,200 working hours per month – so the daily rate of the accommodation vessel is easily re-earned. At the moment, the former cruise vessels fits perfect with the requirements and budgets from the wind industry”, says Jacob Kjaergaard, Head of Sales and Development in Blue Water’s wind division.
Long term investments
Although the business area is relatively new, it is already a specialty for Blue Water Shipping and their close business partner ISP. Several offshore wind parks have already enjoyed the services which have saved the developers many working hours during construction. The accommodation vessels are fully-functional and the services are in demand, which is proven by Comfort at Seas track record from operations both in UK and German waters. Nevertheless, the company would be more than happy to develop the services and offer vessels which are specifically constructed for the clients.
“All we need are long-term commitments from clients allowing us to place investments in purpose-built vessels. But speaking of long term commitments this is one of the main challenges in the offshore wind industry. It is still a young industry, and we have not yet reached a level of standardisation and in general the industry ranging from politicians and developers to contractors still works on a project to project investment, which is a general problem for all of us. However, we foresee that as the industry matures this will change and we will see more long terms contracts in the future than we did one year ago”, says Jacob Kjaergaard.