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Wednesday, October 27, 2021 

Vard Electro will deliver its largest battery package to date for a vessel retrofit as Norwegian shipowner Siem proactively upgrades its fleet with hybrid power in pursuit of greener and safer operations with lower fuel costs.

The newly signed contract covers Vard Electro’s SeaQ Energy Storage System (ESS) with two battery packs and a DC link, which will be installed in the first quarter of 2022 on one of Siem Offshore’s subsea construction vessels lined up for work in the wind sector. The system will enable the vessel to operate in fully electric mode with zero emissions while manoeuvring in harbour or other restricted areas and will deliver estimated fuel savings of up to 20%.

The SeaQ ESS stores excess energy, either generated by the vessel or derived from shore connections with renewable power sources, to replace engines running on fossil-based fuels that drive propulsion and thruster systems.

Gisle Anderssen, Head of Commercial Sales, Vard Electro, said: "We are pleased to have won this contract with Siem Offshore and look forward to collaborating with them on this project as well as possible future deliveries."

According to Anderssen, Enhanced responsiveness of propulsion and other systems due to instant power response in line with load variations, is particularly useful for offshore support vessels that are heavily dependent on DP systems for fast manoeuvrability in safety-critical situations.

The batteries for Siem Offshore will be supplied together with a DC grid for power distribution to consumers, with control and monitoring of the battery storage solution handled by the SeaQ Energy Management System (EMS) that interacts with existing control systems onboard.

Jon A. Houge, Operations Manager, Siem Offshore, said: "The flexibility of the SeaQ ESS system, as well as its advanced functionality were key factors in our selection of Vard Electro for this retrofit."

Battery storage will be used as a spinning reserve in place of generator sets, enabling the vessel to run on fewer engines with more optimal load while still maintaining the requirement for redundancy. An added benefit with batteries is peak shaving that takes the strain off the engines during load variations by levelling the power and delaying the need for engines to restart. This results in significantly lower fuel consumption and reduced maintenance costs due to less wear-and-tear on engines.

Vard Electro will act as system integrator for the turnkey project that will entail engineering, installation, integration, testing, and commissioning of the system comprising batteries, DC grid, EMS, energy storage inverter, filter and/or transformer, fire detection, and a cooling/ventilation system.

Anderssen says there is increasing demand for such hybrid retrofits both for offshore support vessels such as PSVs as well as larger ships, with Vard Electro’s modular system highly adaptable for ease of installation on a wide variety of vessels with minimal downtime.

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