A naming ceremony for the walk-to-work vessel Bibby WaveMaster 1 took place at the cruise terminal in the Port of Rotterdam on 6 September.
Built for UK-based Bibby Group, Bibby WaveMaster 1 is the first of Damen’s new class of purpose designed and built service operation vessels.
Bibby Marine Services and Damen signed a contract for construction of the first of the new class in January 2016. Steel was cut a few weeks later and the newbuild was launched at Damen Shipyards Galati on 24 March 2017.
As highlighted on a number of occasions by OSJ and sister journal OWJ, Bibby WaveMaster 1 is an innovative design that has been customised to ensure that windfarm technicians – or oil and gas maintenance personnel – can directly access the ship’s gangway from the warehouse areas. A helideck, daughter craft and crew transfer vessel landings (with refuelling) complement the vessel’s versatility.
The vessel can provide turbine access in up to 3.1 m significant wave height and is able to remain at sea for up to one month. Although primarily designed with offshore wind in mind, the vessel is capable of a much wider scope of work in a variety of offshore industries. A range of options for the design are available including an additional deck crane with up to a 24-tonne capacity, tank arrangements suited to liquids such as glycols and low flashpoint liquids with separate delivery intakes and facilities for dive support and operations with remotely operated vehicles.
Bibby Marine Services Ltd chief executive Stephen Blaikie described Bibby WaveMaster 1 as a “custom-designed service operation vessel with walk-to-work access and 60 high-quality accommodation berths”. He said the company’s aim was to enable offshore wind operators to work more efficiently, more safely and in maximum comfort for up to 30 days.
Bibby WaveMaster 1 will now undergo a few days of final systems testing before starting operations on 18 September with James Fisher Marine Services at Innogy’s 336 megawatt (MW) Galloper windfarm off the coast of Suffolk, UK, undertaking winter commissioning work on the project’s substation and 56 Siemens 6 MW turbines.
In April 2018 the vessel will begin an assignment for Total E&P Nederland, working on gas platforms in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.