Vessels are an integral part of the installation of an offshore wind farm thus it is imperative they are fully capable of performing the intended operation in a safe and efficient manner. With rising demand for new vessels to enter the market to handle increasingly bigger turbines the need to ensure such vessels are independently verified as fit for operations is greater than ever. The well-publicised recent catastrophic safety incidents involving new build offshore wind construction vessels in China further reinforces this.
Whilst marine assurance has been commonplace in the offshore wind industry, in ADC’s experience it falls short of verifying the vessel is ready to operate. A holistic approach considering the Functionality, Availability, Reliability, Serviceability and Interdependency (FARSI) of all systems using a team of subject matter experts provides this assurance. The approach is crucial for new build vessels – equipment failure on “start-up” is commonplace and problematic; costly to rectify once the shipyard is a memory. Often the motive to deliver the vessel on time, on budget can mean major shortcuts during the equipment installation, commissioning and system integration phases of vessel construction.
Frequently problems are found too late in the process and the vessel commences operations with the crew attempting to work around equipment issues. This leads to suboptimal vessel performance and the equipment doesn’t function as designed; increasing the likelihood of a safety or environmental incident.
In the Oil and Gas Industry independent rig and vessel operability verification, such as offered by ADC, has been proven to consistently reduce non-productive time and safety incidents. The cost saving has shown to be between $1.54 – 3.48 million per 30 day project. There is a real opportunity for the offshore wind industry to implement lessons learned, leverage the vast experience and data analysis companies like ADC have to offer. A proactive approach that embeds vessel intake best practice can help ensure past mistakes are not repeated – driving vessel performance and efficiency. This becomes even more important with the increased demand for sophisticated construction vessels which could see daily charter rates soar over the next decade.
With rising demand for new vessels to enter the market to handle increasingly bigger turbines the need to ensure such vessels are independently verified as fit for operations is greater than ever.
Across the industry, the advantages and benefits that the correct use of enhanced digitalisation deployment can bring in reducing risks, operational challenges and time intensive manual processes are becoming ever more clear. This also extends to the inspection and auditing of stacked rigs and those being considered for reactivation.