Vital Support For Offshore Renewables
Green Marine (UK) Ltd.
Based in the Orkney Islands, the northernmost point of the British Isles and officially established in 2012, Green Marine Energy Support Services was in fact born out of a long family tradition of deep sea fishing around the world.
Green Marine’s first move towards diversification was the building of two oil rig standby safety vessels, the first of their class, in the early 1990s. This was in response to higher safety standards being adopted in the North Sea following the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 and the resulting demand for suitable support vessels.
Responding to new opportunities
As time went by the founders of Green Marine identified the potential of the emerging offshore renewables sector and saw how their skills could successfully be deployed in this new industry. Today, Managing Director Jason Schofield oversees seven vessels and their crews from the company’s offices in Stromness. He is constantly monitoring all its operations in the waters around Orkney and beyond so that the company can provide timely and effective support whenever and wherever required.
Back in the early days, fishing vessels were used to carry out the assignments. This approach worked well, but growing demand was such that more specialized vessels were required and soon purchased. The company also quickly realised that many marine renewable companies were using costly oil and gas assets to carry out their offshore operations; particularly those that required heavy lifting. The next addition therefore was the GM700 Catamaran Gantry Barge, acquired in Denmark in 2012. Capable of taking up to 700 tonnes on four hooks, it has since proved to be a versatile, cost effective and highly capable vessel for operations in the marine renewables sector and is specifically suitable for working in strong tidal currents.
With a wide range of services and activities ranging from the lifting and deployment of marine structures to personnel transfers, engineering and naval architectural services, maintenance, towage and general support services, the capability and fleet continues to grow and diversify. Today it includes smaller, light boats for crew transport and safety duties and two GM1100C flat top barges alongside the GM700 heavy-lifting barge, providing stable working platforms with plenty of open deck space. The two most sophisticated and versatile vessels in the fleet are the Green Chief, a Damen Stan Tug 2608, and the Green Isle, a Damen Multi Cat 2712 delivered in 2015.
The Multi Cat 2712 was purchased specifically to raise the capability of Green Marine’s offshore wave and tidal energy support operations, as well as undertaking anchor handling, towage, dredger service and other duties. “Its twin cranes, powerful winches, bow and stern rollers and towing pins and level deck access make it a more than capable vessel for the multitude of tasks required in the marine renewable industry,” says Jason Schofield. Its first assignment was laying the moorings for and towing the GM700 heavy-lifting barge out to its position for the removal of the HS1000 tidal turbine for Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, which was carried out successfully and in record time.
Green Marine works with many other leading companies active in offshore renewables. Primary marine contractor for Wello Oy since 2012, in early 2017 it successfully deployed their Penguin Wave Energy Converter at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney as part of the EU H2020 CEFOW (Clean Energy from Ocean Waves) project, using both the Green Chief and Green Isle. In 2016 the world’s largest floating tidal turbine was installed successfully by Green Marine for ScotRenewables Tidal Power using the Green Isle. Other projects have included working for Gardline on the new Beatrice offshore windfarm, delivering accommodation rig supply services to ProSafe, cable laying for a wave energy project on the west coast of Scotland, again using the Green Isle, and undertaking route clearance operations for Atlantis and Meygen. Mr Schofield and his team have also worked with Land & Marine of the Murphy Group. on the Western Link project, supplying support vessels for the LM Constructor work barge amongst many other energy related projects.
Looking ahead, Green Marine has a busy order book for the foreseeable future, with contracts in the marine energy sector already secured for 2017/18. It is an aspiration of the company to grow with the addition of more Multi Cat and Crew Transfer vessels to meet the growing demands of the offshore marine energy sector.
For Green Marine, maintaining a capable and versatile fleet is clearly making a significant contribution to their success.