DEME, Barge Master developing Jones Act compliant feeder solution
Jones Act compliance is a major focus of European companies aiming to secure work in the upcoming offshore wind projects in the United States. DEME Offshore US has taken a major step forward on the path by signing a long-term deal with Barge Master to develop a US Jones Act compliant feeder solution.
The two companies will work closely together to develop motion compensation technology which will be deployed in a pioneering feeder concept on the Vineyard Wind 1 project – the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US, DEME said in its statement.
In 2021 DEME Offshore US secured a transport and installation contract for the 62 GE Haliade offshore wind turbines for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, which is located off the coast of Massachusetts. In addition to the installation of the turbines, DEME Offshore will also handle the transportation and installation of the monopile foundations, transition pieces, offshore substation and scour protection for the wind turbine foundations, as well as the offshore substation foundation and platform.
DEME Offshore US is partnering a US company Foss Maritime in the development of the smart feeder barge concept to ensure that it is fully compliant with the Jones Act. Following on from this, DEME Offshore US has now announced a five-year agreement with the Dutch company Barge Master, where it will utilise four motion compensation platforms which will be installed on the US- flagged Foss Maritime barges.
This integrated, high-tech solution will enable the wind turbine components to be transported from US ports to DEME’s specialised offshore installation vessels. When arriving alongside the installation vessel the Barge Master motion compensation technology ensures safe lifting operations – even for these giant components – and increases workability. The barges will also be towed and pushed by US-flagged tugs.
President of DEME Offshore US, Sidney Florey, comments, “This fully Jones Act compliant solution, based on using US- flagged and US-owned tugs and barges, again demonstrates our commitment to build and support the US offshore wind industry and to create jobs for (unionised) American mariners. Uniquely, this technology turns existing barges into a high-tech, smart feeder concept, resulting in a competitive advantage for DEME Offshore and its partners. This solution also leads to sharp pricing and guaranteed availability for the offshore wind developers, our clients.”
DEME Offshore US has developed special seafastening releasing technology and new lifting tools in close collaboration with GE and Barge Master. DEME Offshore US, Foss Maritime and Barge Master are set to launch the new concept, which consists of two fully-equipped smart feeder barges, in spring 2023.
The Barge Master concept is based on using patented technology, whereby control systems and cylinders are supporting a platform and actively compensating the motions of the barge. The wind turbine components are fastened to the motion compensated platform. Barge Master has two existing and proven platforms which have been used on several offshore energy projects already. These two platforms and two larger newbuild platforms will be specifically adapted to cope with the needs for the Vineyard Wind 1 project.