Swire Blue Ocean plans large-scale fleet upgrade

Swire Blue Ocean (SBO) has big plans to upgrade its fleet. The contractor intends to order a new installation vessel with an option for a second ship and plans to invest in new cranes for both the Pacific Osprey and Pacific Orca.

The development comes as the Danish operator prepares itself for the installation of next-generation wind turbines over the coming decade and beyond. Offshore wind turbines continue to scale up and many contractors have invested in bigger crane vessels. This planned investment is aimed at keeping SBO at the forefront of this fast-moving industry.

“I am proud to announce that our organisation has put in the hard work to understand the challenges the industry faces and is now equipped to deliver a solution which will prevent a supply chain bottleneck when new turbine models reach the market in the mid-2020’s”, says CEO Mikkel Gleerup of SBO.

SBO has shortlisted several shipyards for the order and says the vessel will have capacities “unseen in the industry up to now.” It concerns a bespoke version of Gusto MSC’s NG-20000X-G design with multiple customisations based on SBO’s experience in the industry.

“It has been key for us to deliver an asset that can grow with the industry, but also offer a cost base that is attractive in the market”, says Head of Engineering Janus Joensen. “We have collected significant data over the last decade and by building these learnings into the design we hope to bring material benefits to our customers.” The planning process began in April 2019.

New cranes

SBO also plans to invest in new cranes for its existing vessels, the Pacific Osprey and Pacific Orca. Over the past year, the company has run engineering studies in order to understand how far it could extend the capabilities of these ships, focusing on the optimum design for replacing the main cranes on these installation vessels.

The result is a crane that is designed to provide an overturning moment of 100,000 tonnes/metre while maintaining the vessels’ capacity to jack up on difficult sites and treacherous offshore weather conditions. The main cranes are designed to provide up to 1,600 tonnes of lifting capacity with a 155-metre hook height above deck. These specifications are expected to meet the requirements for installation of all turbine models currently under development, the company states. The installation of the new cranes is scheduled to commence in Q4 2023.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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