Lowestoft, 13th June 2017 – Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd (GGOWL), a joint venture between SSE and Innogy, has awarded class-leading offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, with a long-term contract to provide Operations & Maintenance (O&M) support at the 140-turbine, 504 MW Greater Gabbard wind farm, located off the coast of Suffolk.
As large and complex offshore wind energy projects mature, project owners and utilities are aiming to build on experiences and lessons learnt from the first phases of long-term O&M activity and selecting experienced multi-site contractors with local market expertise as their preferred suppliers.
In strengthening the relationship with Seacat Services, GGOWL continues to acknowledge the long-term benefits of supporting the UK supply chain. Headquartered in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, Seacat Services’ vessels are built locally by South Boats IoW, easily deployed to UK sites and operated by a team with extensive experience in domestic waters.
For the coming years, Seacat Services has been hired to provide logistical support, encompassing high-speed transfer of technicians and critical equipment to the wind farm from the O&M base at the Port of Lowestoft. Introducing a new vessel to the contract, the charters will be undertaken by Seacat Freedom, an advanced 23m Controllable Pitch Propeller catamaran launched in 2016.
Based out of the extensive operations and maintenance hub in Lowestoft, the large local operations team requires versatile and reliable vessel support with high levels of availability to deliver both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance during narrow windows of good weather.
“Long-term relationships such as ours with Greater Gabbard are a sign of a maturing UK offshore wind sector that continues to place considerable confidence in its supply chain,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services. “In turn, agreements such as this allow us to continue investing in our service, and innovating our fleet, to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry.”
“We are proud that the UK maritime sector has been able to support projects of this scale with great success throughout the construction phase, and look forward to continue working with such skilled technicians as the long-term operational phases really kick in.”
Sid Anverali, General Manager at GGOWL said: “The ability for GGOWL to have direct access to vessels that we can rely on to support us, at all stages of site operations, is of critical importance to the ongoing success of projects of this scale.”
“GGOWL has always appreciated the value of fostering long-term relationships with UK suppliers, to not only support the domestic economy but also ensure that we benefit from the significant local expertise that the UK supply chain has to offer.”
“Seacat Services’ commitment to availability, reliability, and safety meant that they were a good fit to join our flexible fleet providing ongoing O&M support at Greater Gabbard.”