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Friday, November 15, 2019 

Aluminium vessel builder Wight Shipyard has been contracted to build the first hybrid surface effect crew transfer vessel, which will service the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore windfarms located 23km off the Dutch coast.

WSC was chosen to build the vessel by operator CWind because of its reputation for build quality and its delivery track record coupled with the ability of working with new designs and concepts, including hybrid vessels.

“We have built a reputation in the fast ferry arena and commercial marine sector,” said Peter Morton, CEO WSC. “But this a world first, building a hybrid SES for crew transfer. Building greener vessels has been an integral focus for some time now so we are well placed to lead this step change in Crew Transfer Vessels.”

WSC will manage the build project from its development stage through to delivery. The vessel will be able to handle 2m significant wave height during technician transfer at sea. At the same time, it will decrease fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The Hybrid SES propulsion engine will deliver sprint speed and extreme bollard push from its 1,600 kW installed Scania D16 engines, which can be battery boosted up to 1,500kW. Kamewa s30 waterjets provide forward thrust. Significant fuel savings will be achieved through balancing engine and inefficient low engine power running hours, with battery drive modes including windfarm standby and low speed/harbour operations.  This will lead to an engine operating hour reduction of 50% during standby.

The Hybrid SES crew transfer vessel was developed in partnership with the operator CWind and Norwegian ship design company ESNA, which specialises in commercially competitive vessels with surface effect technology to deliver significant carbon reductions.

The design features a catamaran hull with the area between hulls closed by flexible reinforced rubber fingers in the bow and an inflated rubber bag in the stern. Centrifugal fans blow air into this enclosed space, providing an air cushion that supports up to 80% of the vessel weight. The remaining 20% is supported by hull buoyancy. This allows for higher vessel speed because the hull resistance is significantly decreased. It also reduces motion owing to less wave contact. In addition, the air cushion acts as a large shock absorber, improving the seakeeping and reducing seasickness.

Naval architect and co-founder of ESNA, Trygve H. Espeland, said: “The vessel design will accommodate further developments in hybrid propulsion and battery technology, ensuring it has the capability of being developed into a totally carbon-free solution in the future. Wight Shipyard Co was the obvious partner for the build because of its solid reputation for both quality timely builds and experience bringing a new concept hybrid vessel to market”.

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