Keel Layed for Second Bibby Wavemaster
In early May, the keel-laying ceremony for Bibby Marine Services’ second Damen SOV (Service Operations Vessel) 9020 WaveMaster vessel took place at Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania.
The event took place less than a year after Bibby Marine Services took delivery of its sister-ship Bibby WaveMaster 1. The new vessel is due for delivery in August 2019 and has been contracted by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and EnBW for maintenance operations on two windfarms in German waters; Hohe See and Albatros, both owned by EnBW and Enbridge. The final name will be announced after a competition within Siemens Gamesa and EnBW, yet it will continue to be part of the Bibby WaveMaster series.
The SOV 9020 is a new class of purpose-built Service Operations Vessel with Walk-to-Work (W2W) capability developed by Damen in consultation with the offshore renewables industry. The design is an entirely new concept from the ground up, combining DP2 capability, a new motion-compensated gangway, innovative hull design, a revolutionary internal layout, and a comprehensive range of additional innovations designed to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
Bibby Marine Services placed the order for a second Bibby WaveMaster early in 2018 following the confirmation of the charter in December 2017 by Siemens Gamesa. With the steel plates for the second vessel cut at the same time of those for the first, and some fabrication already having taken place, work has been able to begin at an accelerated pace.
The second vessel differs in just a few minor respects from the first. Some changes have been made to the warehousing layout at the charterer’s request, and the sauna has been removed so as to double the size of the gym. The bridge has also been reconfigured. The second WaveMaster will also have a different gangway package and crane, this time supplied by SMST of the Netherlands.
'The gangway on the original vessel has and continues to perform well,' explains Bibby Marine Services managing director Stephen Bolton, 'but the technology has moved on and this new integrated system does away with the need for an independent lift tower. Now, the gangway hangs off the tower and matches where the lift is. All in all, the small number of changes that we have made to this second vessel shows just how good the first one was.'
The WaveMaster 1 has recently completed its first charter servicing wind farms off the east coast of England, having seen all its options to extend taken up by the client. As of 5 April, it is now working with Total E&P Netherlands servicing its gas platforms in the southern North Sea.