Scheduled for delivery in 2021, OHT Alfa Lift is expected to become the largest custom-built offshore wind foundation installation vessel in the world


A new monopile installation solution, developed between MacGregor and Kongsberg Maritime, eliminates unnecessary temporary mooring, offering substantial savings to the offshore wind energy market. (Credit: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime (KM) has signed a contract with MacGregor, a maritime services and solutions provider, for the delivery of Pile Gripper Guidance System (PGGS) for the OHT Alfa Lift vessel.

Equipped with a 3,000t main crane, Alfa Lift, which is scheduled for delivery in 2021, is expected to become the largest custom-built offshore wind foundation installation vessel in the world, claimed KM.

More details on the vessel

Completely submersible to a depth of 14.66m, the vessel will feature 10,000+ m² ‘smart’ deck that could carry up to 14 XL monopiles for each voyage.

As per the terms of the contract, MacGregor will supply a motion-compensated pile gripper frame.

Kongsberg’s PGGS will combine this gripper with several other KM systems on board the vessel.

A K-Pos dual-redundant dynamic positioning system will interface with a K-Chief marine automation system as well as the K-Thrust thruster control system.

The vessel’s integration of monitoring and control functions is claimed to bring all the technical and economic benefits once it becomes operational.

A K-Bridge integrated navigation system will offer a single, intuitive user interface for the vessel’s several connected systems.

A complete host of K-Power products will include the main switchboard, generators and drives, while KM’s azimuth and tunnel thrusters will help in propulsion, steering and positioning thrust of the vessel.

The two firms have been collaborating on development of integrated monopile installation solution that features KM’s up-to-date automated handling functionality.

By eliminating the requirement for temporary mooring procedures during installation, the solution is expected to boost safety, productivity and mission consistency, thereby leading to savings in time and money for transport and installation contractor OHT.

MacGregor director of sales and marketing innovations Kristina Arutjunova 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.”

Kongsberg Maritime sales director for offshore Birger Evensen 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.