North Sea MRE operator chooses French hybrid support ship

North Sea MRE operator chooses French hybrid support ship

Danish offshore wind farm operator Dong Energy* will charter a new hybrid support vessel from Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. For LDA, this is a new venture and a big achievement.

The proposed vessel will service the Borkum Riffgrund 1 & 2 and the Gode Wind 1 & 2 wind farms in the North Sea off northern Germany. The contract represents a step towards greater diversification and is a major achievement for LDA in that it convinced one of Europe’s leading players in renewable energy that the group has the requisite expertise. The contract also makes LDA the first French shipping company to work in the offshore wind power support sector. This is particularly significant for a family-owned group that only shifted its focus to offshore wind in 2014.


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The ship, designed by Norwegian naval architecture bureau Salt Ship Design, will have a length overall of 83 metres for a beam of 19.4m and a draught of 7m. Given that the German wind farms in question are a long way offshore, the design will be sized to offer good seakeeping and excellent endurance in tough North Sea conditions. The vessel will be equipped with a DP2 dynamic positioning system with accommodation for 90 including 60 maintenance technicians. Using a motion-compensating ‘cherry picker’, maintenance staff will be able to work on turbines and nacelles at heights up to 19m. The ship’s equipment suite also includes a motion-compensating crane rated at one tonne at 23m and a service boat capable of carrying eight people and one tonne of equipment.

One of the biggest innovations is the hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system complete with a battery compartment. The ship will be built by the Cemre shipyard in Turkey and is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2018.

The ship will be registered with the French International Register (FIR) and be operated by two crews, each comprising 20 to 25 sailors including 16 French officers.


Translated and adapted by Steve Dyson

* Dong Energy is the result of a 2006 merger of six Danish energy companies. The Dong group comprises four businesses: Wind Power, Bioenergy & Thermal Power, Distribution & Customer Solutions, and Oil & Gas.