Austal hat trick for Turbine Transfers
Austal’s 'Wind Express 27' wind farm support cat
Australian boatbuilder, Austal, has secured to a new contract with the UK’s Turbine Transfers, to design and build three new wind farm support catamarans.
The new Wind Express 27 catamarans will be used for wind turbine installation and maintenance activities in European waters. They will be built at Austal’s shipyard in the Philippines over nine months – work will commence in March 2013.
Austal’s chief executive officer, Andrew Bellamy, said: “Austal decided to pursue the growing market for wind farm boats in mid 2010. Having spent the first year working hard to better understand the market’s expectations we signed our first contract in July last year.”
The company acquired a shipyard in the Philippines last November to regionalise its manufacturing base which is currently fully utilised into the first quarter of the next financial year.
This is Austal’s third new project for Turbine Transfers in 15 months. Three 21m catamarans were ordered in July 2011 and delivered to Europe earlier this year. Construction of a 27m TRI SWATH ordered in January 2012 is also nearing completion at the Philippines shipyard.
The new catamarans will be able to transport 12 personnel and 10 tonnes of equipment to and from turbines. This includes containerised items on forward and or aft decks.
Powered by four Caterpillar C18 diesels and propelled and steered by Rolls Royce Kamewa waterjets, the vessels will be able to operate in excess of 27 knots.
Austal’s advanced Z-bow hullform coupled with high tunnel clearance allows the Wind Express 27 to maintain higher speeds in waves, reducing both exposure to seasickness and service times per turbine. A ride control system consisting of forward T-foils and transom interceptors is fitted to further reduce unwanted motion and provide dynamic trim control.
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