Jack-Up Barge announces new offshore installation method

Jack-Up Barge, the offshore self-elevating platform supplier, has pioneered a new cost-effective installation method that promises to revolutionise offshore wind turbine construction. The Netherlands-based based company, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the offshore energy markets, successfully completed seatrials at the beginning of March, on a new, first-of-its-kind, portable DP2 system.

The new system, integrated to one of Jack-Up Barge’s platforms, enables the vessel to operate between work sites offshore without recourse to a tug vessel. The independence provided to the platform as a result ensures the delivery of an extremely time-efficient installation process for offshore wind turbines. The time saved during operations, combined with a reduced reliance on tug vessels, also equals considerable cost efficiency relative to current, conventional installation methods.

The innovation is the product of Jack-Up Barge’s continual drive to provide best-in-class offshore installation solutions to the energy markets. Technical & new building director said, “This is a new system, pioneered by Jack-Up Barge, that aims to streamline operations for increased efficiency. Seatrials have been a complete success and we are very pleased with the performance of JB 118 and the new system. There is every indication that this will prove revolutionary for the platform-based offshore installation process.”

The system can be mobilised to either JB 117 or JB 118 and, with only minimal adaptation, also to JB 114 or JB 115. This flexibility ensures wide availability of the system to clients at any time. The equipped platform will utilise the system exclusively for installation activities and will receive equipment supply from a purpose built feeder barge vessel currently in development. This continual, unbroken focus on installation work further develops the time-efficiency theme behind the development of the new system.

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The system is currently integrated on board JB 118. Installation took place recently at the Keppel Verolme shipyard in the Port of Rotterdam. Each of the four retractable thrusters was lifted on board with the platform’s own 1,000t Favelle Favco crane and installed close to the respective legs of the platform. Each thruster is served by an independent generator set located in a container on board. An additional control room, located on the main deck, houses the DP system and a Cyscan system. The control room serves as the vessel’s wheelhouse whilst the system is in operation.

Seatrials took place in the Dutch North Sea and, although this was the first time such a system had ever been trialed, passed smoothly. The new system has received the ABS classification DPS2 and is now ready for use in combination with one of Jack-Up Barge’s North Sea standard built platforms.