DEME Offshore US to Deploy Seaqualize Heave Chief 1100 on Vineyard Wind OWF
Dutch heave compensation specialist Seaqualize has signed its first contract for their newly developed offshore lifting device: the Heave Chief 1100. DEME Offshore US will deploy the HC1100 on the first commercial scale wind farm installation project in the USA, Vineyard Wind, to transfer delicate wind turbine components to and from heaving supply vessels.
The battery powered HC1100 is currently the largest active heave compensator in the world. As a Balanced Heave Compensator (BHC), it can compensate a vessel’s heave motions and safely quick-lift loads up to 1100t.
Since the high ambitions of US offshore wind were announced, the market has been looking for ways to get sufficient Jones Act compliant installation capacity in place. Seaqualize and DEME Offshore have been working together on developing a novel tool, enabling a Jones Act compliant feeder-barge concept. To lift delicate wind turbine components from feeder-barges to an installation vessel while being offshore is a complicated operation. This type of operation, which needs to be done safely, efficiently, frequently and often in harsh weather conditions, requires a new, next generation lifting tool.
DEME Offshore, the market leader in offshore wind installations, is the first contractor that will embark on such an operation, by transporting and installing 62 wind turbine generators for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial scale offshore wind installation in the United States. Each turbine will be transported in components from the supply harbor to DEME’s installation vessel Sea Installer. DEME Offshore US has contracted the HC1100 to ensure the components can be safely lifted from the heaving supply barges, and thus continue working in challenging weather conditions.
“We contracted Seaqualize to de-risk the Vineyard Wind project: their solution is a novel, but realistic method to safely transfer the delicate components, minimizing the risk of damage and delays. We think this is how Feeder Barge operations should be done going forward” – Glenn Carton, Project Director Vineyard Wind, DEME
Since December 2019, Seaqualize has developed inline Balanced Heave Compensators, specifically for heavy lift, in-air active load control. Together with Van Oord Offshore Wind a prototype for 600t was successfully tested in November 2021. The HC1100 is based on this prototype and will be the world’s largest and most sophisticated active heave compensator. It is scheduled for delivery in March 2023.