A veteran of offshore oil and gas programmes, the Stanislav Yudin, has stepped in to rescue the Gwynt y Mor windfarm construction programme in Liverpool Bay.
Operator RWE Innogy’s brand new construction barges have been crippled by problems, apparently primarily to do with their leg jacking mechanisms. One of these Korean-built vessels, the Friedrich Ernestine should have been at work now, not tied up in Bremerhaven undergoing repairs, together with sister Victoria Mathias.
Neither is likely to finally enter service until late summer.
When ordered, RWE hailed the sisters as setting a new standard; indeed the company said Friedrich Ernestine was the first of its type in the world and would be able to load, transport and install up to four large-scale offshore wind turbines at a time.
Measuring 100m length overall by 40m breath and squared off at either end, these self-propelled scow barges were claimed to be the most advanced vessels of their genre.
Each features four massive jacking legs, plus a 1,000 tonnes capacity construction crane. Service speed is up to 7.5 knots.
Prof Fritz Vahrenholt, CEO at RWE Innogy, said at the time the vessels were ordered: “Our investment in these two vessels will help us to close one of the most significant supply bottlenecks in the construction of offshore windfarms.
“They will give us a decisive time and cost advantage in implementing our ambitious offshore plans.”
The company has failed in that objective and currently has a major embarrassment on its hands.