DELTA MARINE ANNOUNCES A NEW DAMEN DESIGN
If there is one recurrent theme running through this Journal, echoing the voice of the industry, then that is the need to cut costs throughout the entire offshore wind sector. Here, we catch up with Delta Marine owner Bob Spanswick and General Manager Dave McNaughtan to hear how a new vessel design from Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld will help achieve that goal.
“Cost savings come from efficiency,” says Mr McNaughtan. “Smaller but well designed vessels can now in many circumstances outperform, and be more efficient than the larger more expensive units traditionally used”. With Delta Marine earning its stripes on numerous offshore wind, tidal and wave energy projects, Mr McNaughtan is undoubtedly knowledgeable on the subject. “So if we keep the costs down by operating well equipped highly efficient vessels, we can pass those savings on to our customers.”
And that is where Damen enters the equation. With the bulk of its fleet constructed by the Dutch shipbuilder, Damen and Delta Marine already have a fruitful working relationship. The bond between the two companies recently grew stronger when together they began developing a new vessel concept.
Market back on track
“For the last couple of years we’ve been working on a new design with Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld,” explains Mr McNaughtan. “It’s our confidence in the renewables market – especially offshore wind and tide – that helped us make the decision to develop this. Although it’s slowed down in recent years, we are now seeing things picking up again with some large projects coming up to speed.”
The close cooperation with Damen played a significant role in the design process: “We came up with concepts – giving them to Damen, who would put those ideas on the drawing board. They gave their expertise – adding the engineering for example – and then came back to us.”
“With four azimuth thrusters giving DP2 capability we‘ll be able to perform a lot of the work larger offshore construction vessels currently do”, he says. “The deck is wide enough to fit a carousel allowing us to lay cables, the ability to handle work class ROV’s and cable trenching machines has also been factored in. We are installing two large HS Marine cranes and the 4-point mooring system means we can take on dive support work as well.”
With the vessel’s launch pencilled in their diary for Q1 2017, the Delta Marine team are looking forward to taking delivery. “With Damen, you get more than quality. You also get the excellent backup of the whole organisation. And that is worth its weight in gold to us.”
Offshore Wind’s little brother
Compared to offshore wind, you could say that the tidal energy industry is still in its infancy. However, current projects show that progress is afoot. “The important thing to consider is that, unlike offshore wind, the tidal energy industry is based on a predictable energy output,” comments Mr McNaughtan.
This fact, due to constant and stable tidal movements, removes a lot of the uncertainty for project developers and their investors. “Yes, the sector is moving ahead slowly, but there are some great projects in the pipeline and when they get the go ahead it will be great news for the workboat industry.”