Through a long-term agreement with Barge Master, DEME Offshore US seeks to further develop a US Jones Act compliant feeder solution for upcoming offshore wind projects. The two companies will work on motion compensation technology for a feeder concept on the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US.
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, the company 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.
Jones Act compliant solution
DEME Offshore US is partnering US company Foss Maritime in the development of the smart feeder barge concept to ensure that it is compliant with the Jones Act. The Jones Act requires goods shipped between US ports to be transported on US-built ships, owned by US entities and operated by a US crew.
Following on from the partnership with Foss, DEME has now announced a five-year agreement with the Dutch company Barge Master, where it will utilise four motion compensation platforms that 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.
‘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,’ says President of DEME Offshore US, Sidney Florey. ‘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.’
Barge Master Director Martijn Koppert adds: ‘We are providing the most competitive feeder solution in the market by utilising proven technology. By combining our motion compensated feeder platforms with existing US maritime equipment and DEME Offshore’s jack-up vessels, the CAPEX [capital expenditures, Ed.] and OPEX [operating expenses, Ed.] are kept low when compared to other concepts.’
Existing and new platforms
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 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 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.