DEME Offshore has commenced the construction of its first service operation vessel (SOV) for offshore wind farm maintenance.

The SOV will be chartered by Siemens Gamesa as part of a long-term maintenance contract for the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (referred to as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium.

According to DEME, this is the first SOV to serve three different wind farm sites.

The keel-laying ceremony took place on 13 December at the CEMRE shipyard in Yalova, Turkey.

The SOV vessel is designed by DEME along with its partners Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam and Marin.

The 60m SOV will be equipped with a small waterplane area twin-hull (SWATH) design that can diminish wave impact on movements when approaching the wind turbines.

The vessel, which will feature a motion compensated gangway and daughter craft, will facilitate crew transfers in wave heights of up to 2.5m.

The SOV can be a homely offshore base for up to 24 technicians and a nautical crew.

DEME stated that DP2 technology included in the vessel can lessen fuel consumption by up to 50% in comparison to a monohull SOV.

DEME Offshore Business Unit director Michael Glavind said: “We believe the twin-hulled design, a motion compensated gangway and dynamic positioning is a winning combination and will further reduce the costs of wind farm maintenance, especially compared to large monohulls reaching similar workability.

“With this first SOV joining our fleet, we further strengthen our capabilities to offer the full offshore wind package, from installation to maintenance.”

Delivery of service operation vessel (SOV) is due in 2021

The delivery of the vessel is expected to take place in 2021.

Siemens Gamesa maritime and aviation solutions head Rene Wigmans said: “We keep innovating in offshore service logistics, this SOV is the next proof point: we are and keep being front movers with this pitstop concept to perform service with one SOV at three windfarms.”