Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract with maritime services provider MacGregor to deliver a Pile Gripper Guidance System (PGGS) which could save the offshore wind industry “substantial” sums of money.
The technology will initially be deployed on Offshore Heavy Transport’s (OHT) Alfa Lift vessel, which will be the world’s largest custom-built offshore wind foundation installation vessel upon completion in 2021.
The ship will be kitted out with a 3,000t main crane and a 10,000+ m² ‘smart’ deck that will be capable of carrying up to 14 XL monopiles per voyage and will also be fully submersible to a depth of 14.66m.
Under the terms of the contract, MacGregor will deliver a motion-compensated pile gripper frame, while the PGGS will integrate the gripper with the other Kongsberg systems on board.
The two firms have been working side by side in recent month to develop the integrated monopile installation software, which eliminates unnecessary temporary mooring, offering “substantial savings” to the offshore wind energy market.
Developers also claim it will enhance safety, productivity and mission consistency and expect the technology to be rolled out across the offshore wind energy market in the coming years.
Kristina Arutjunova, director sales and marketing innovations at MacGregor, said: “Working with Kongsberg Maritime and OHT on this solution has been a mutually rewarding process.
“We’re significantly raising the bar for safety, sustainability, precision and efficiency by dispensing with so many of the challenges traditionally posed by complex offshore operations of this nature.”
Birger Evensen, sales director offshore at Kongsberg Maritime, said: “This order secures KM’s role as a leading technology provider for heavy offshore vessels.
“Working closely with MacGregor, we have developed an innovative solution that improves the efficiency of foundation installation vessels by replacing lengthy, temporary mooring processes with full DP, in combination with an integrated guidance system and hydraulic frame mechanism.
“The interdependence such enterprises require will benefit us all. Our technology, solutions and expertise will continue to make harnessing wind power safer and more efficient by streamlining installation processes, while the lessons we learn from our work with offshore energy clients will contribute considerably towards creating a cleaner and more sustainable future.”
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