The Bibby WaveMaster Horizon was

launched at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

Bibby WaveMaster Horizon launched

Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania launched Bibby Marine Services’ second Service Operations Vessel (SOV) 9020. The launch took place on 29 March. During the same event, the vessel was officially named Bibby WaveMaster Horizon. She is the sister ship of the Bibby WaveMaster 1.

Upon delivery later this year, the vessel will begin maintenance work on two EnBW and Enbridge-owned windfarms in the German North Sea – Hohe See and Albatros – for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and EnBW.

The SOV 9020 was designed with one main goal in mind: affordable access to offshore wind turbines. If shuttling technicians to and from the wind farms becomes unfeasible, there is only one solution: house them at sea. This has long been done in the offshore industry, with rotational crews staying for a few weeks on a platform. But as offshore windfarms have no large accommodation platforms and are spread over a large geographical area, the service technicians need to be housed on a ship. This gave rise to the aptly named concept of the walk-to-work vessel.

Damen developed the vessel following close consultation with the offshore renewable energy industry. The design combines walk-to-work capabilities with DP2 (dynamic positioning) and an innovative hull along with a revolutionary interior and comprehensive features ensuring maximum efficiency of operation. The shipyard began construction of the second SOV at the same time as the first vessel, the Bibby WaveMaster 1. This meant that, when Bibby Marine Services and Siemens Gamesa confirmed their contract at the end of 2017, Damen was able to accelerate construction rapidly.

The design of the vessel was based on the Damen Platform Supply Vessel 3300. The designers optimised the ship by varying length, beam and draught to obtain minimal horizontal and vertical accelerations, taking into account typical North Sea weather and wave conditions. From client input, they knew that 80 per cent of operability is acceptable. This means that the vessels should be able to continue operations in sea states with a significant wave height up to 3 metres. The optimization resulted in a vessel of 90 metres length-over-all with a relatively wide beam of 20 metres.

“We have received very positive feedback from Bibby Marine Services regarding the Bibby WaveMaster 1, as a result of which we have every confidence that Bibby WaveMaster Horizon will make a fantastic asset for Bibby and for their clients,” says Damen sales manager Arjen van Elk. “From the very outset of the development of the SOV, we have enjoyed a terrific collaboration with Bibby and I’m very pleased to see this continue.”

The godmother of the Bibby WaveMaster Horizon was Mrs Mirna Robert-Du Ry van Beest Holle, wife of Damen’s Director of Special Projects Peter Robert. Peter, as then Director of Business Development at Damen, was instrumental in the development of the SOV 9020 from its inception.

Bibby WaveMaster Horizon builds on the amazing track record of the sister ship the Bibby WaveMaster 1,” says Stephen Bolton, Managing Director at Bibby Marine Services. “Since delivery in September 2017 the Bibby WaveMaster 1 has worked continuously in the offshore wind and oil and gas sectors proving her design and Bibby’s management model on a daily basis. We are therefore confident that the Bibby WaveMaster Horizon will perform equally well for our clients Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and ENBW and set a new benchmark in the offshore wind operations and maintenance sector.”