Converting and reactivating SOVs for Offshore Wind industry: a path to greener energy

Oceanica vessels alongside at Kleven Yard, waiting for upgrades and a new coat of paint

As the world increasingly focuses on greener energy sources, our company has been at the forefront since 2013, when we ventured into the offshore wind support scene following the footsteps of Chevalier Floatels B.V.. Over the years, we have solidified our position in the industry, providing technical and crew services to vessel owners contracted by offshore wind players.

Engagement from the Initial Stages:

We consider ourselves fortunate to often be engaged from the initial stages, where newly acquired vessels require conversion or upgrades to meet the demands of the offshore wind trade and, in some cases, reactivation.

Our journey began with the conversion of Chevalier vessels DP Galyna and DP Gezina, transforming them from short route ferries into IMO Class II Dynamic Positioning-capable vessels. These unique vessels were not only outfitted for luxury accommodation services but also provided a safe means of transferring personnel and cargo at offshore sites. Our role at Tschudi Ship Management involved commissioning the vessels upon completion of the conversion at Holland Shipyards. We provided routine ship management services, overviewed the conversion process as well as the recruitment and training of the specialized staff, conducted trials to verify system functionality, and concluded activities required for further improvement post-launch. In 2022, CF Explorer was added to the fleet, after being converted from a PSV to SOV to offer the same functionality.

Chevalier Floatels B.V. vessel DP GEZINA at site. Photo: Chevalier Floatels B.V.

Expanding Our Fleet:

Fast forward to 2023, after several non-offshore conversions, we had another opportunity in 2022 to ready four vessels simultaneously for the offshore support trade, with three more to follow. These vessels were acquired by two new owners: Danish Offshore Supply ApS (DOS) and Oceanica Netherlands B.V.. We were excited to welcome these additions to our fleet and client base.

DOS Vessels:

The two DOS vessels did not require actual conversion or reactivation, and were upgraded from the former PSVs into more potent and multifunctional SOVs already before they came into our management. "Connector" and "Notus" are now in-field accommodation vessels for workers and platforms, facilitating offshore operations such as wind turbine servicing and repair work. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including DP-enabled systems, these SOVs ensure a smooth commute between the work site and comfortable on-board accommodation. Under our care and custody, "Notus" had a SMST gangway installed and "Connector"’s main tool is the offshore 26T crane that enables the lowering of the GEO ROV or other equipment into the sea. She is also ready for a motion-compensated walk-to-work gangway, should the mission require it. Regarding DOS, the work on another anchor-handler is currently in process and if everything goes according to the plan, there will be another vessel available on the market with full SOV capacity.

Danish Offshore Supply ApS vessel NOTUS with SMST gangway. Photo: vessel's superintendent Raigo Vatsfeldt

Oceanica Vessels:

Under our management, the Oceanica Netherland B.V. vessels "Oceanicasub VIII", "Oceanicasub IX", "Oceanicasub XI" and "Oceanicasub X" underwent reactivation and modifications to align the vessels for Brazilian offshore operations. "Oceanicasub VIII", for instance, received an additional client office, a 50t offshore crane, and a mezzanine deck for work class ROV. We also increased the accommodation capacity from 38 to 48 persons and added additional position reference systems for DP, HIPA, and radius, among other improvements. To match the owners' branding, all vessels underwent hull cleaning and painting during docking, with the works on the Oceanica vessels carried out under our supervision at Green Yard Kleven in Norway. Prior to completion, all vessels underwent statutory audits overseen by our SHEQ department to ensure compliance with class requirements and are now either ready to serve or already serving the offshore majors in Brazil, now under the full management of the Owners.

Oceanica Netherlands B.V. vessel Oceanicasub VIII at Kleven Yard. Photo: Captain of Oceanicasub VIII

Continued Commitment and New Challenges:

Today we are already dedicating the same attention to detail to the new vessels. Each vessel represents a unique project as work sites and customer requirements related to SOV operations vary. In addition to standard ship management services we are capable of providing project-specific methodologies and consultancy for standard and custom activities on board or at the work site. For instance, we can assist in deploying and retrieving the WT WTG blade maintenance basket from SOV.  

So, full speed ahead and thank you – Chevalier Floatels B.V., Danish Offshore Supply ApS and Oceanica Netherlands B.V. for your trust so far!

Edited: 01.03.2024

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