Windthrust, a subsidiary of Australian-based, National Ports Corporation, has revealed plans for a 300 meters long, combined self-propelled floating port and installation vessel for foundations, wind turbines, and substation – named the Oceandock LX.
“Windthrust has been working closely with offshore wind farm market leaders from Northern Europe to identify the key factors and requirements for a more cost-effective, faster, and lower risk deployment of the next generation of wind farms,” the company said.
The company sees an opportunity in the fact that the next generation of wind turbines will be larger and heavier in order to keep up with the rapid increase in global demand for renewables, needing much larger vessels, with heavier lifting capacity and increased deck space.
Marco Lucido, National Ports’ managing director says: “Today’s installation vessels are not fit for purpose, as they simply do not have the capacity to meet the requirements. Currently, it can take four or more vessels to install the different components of a wind farm. We saw that logistical inefficiency as a major opportunity,.
Per Lucido, Oceandock’s “massive deck space” – 60,000 m2 deck area – and onboard storage facility allows for the components to be delivered directly to the Oceandock and stored..
Lucido said: “Offshore wind farm development will surge on a global scale in the coming years with approximately twenty-four farms expected within US waters alone. With this surge, port capacity and accessibility to service these developments are at risk. In our case, the Oceandock LX’s onboard storage facility is an ideal solution.”
The Oceandock is designed to have a 60,000 m2 deck area, two 2,600 tonne cranes, and one 6,000 tonne crane capable of lifting a substation in one single lift. In addition, the Oceandock LX will have an extra 700,000m3 of underdeck area.
Windhurst did not say when the first unit might be expected to be delivered. Offshore Engineer has reached out for more details. We’ll update the article with any response we may receive.