In June 2016, Ulstein Verft will be delivering the first of two offshore wind service vessels for Bernhard Schulte Offshore/Windea Offshore. The vessels are contracted to work for Siemens. The two vessels represent a new era for both parties.
The Germany-based Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG. is one of the owners of Windea Offshore. The first SOV will be working on the Gemini offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, while vessel number two will be operating offshore the coast of Germany.
“The vessel has still not been named, but internally we call her ‘MV Helen Schulte’,” says Matthias Mueller, business development director at Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG.
New segment for both parties
The vessel is the first to be constructed with the innovative X-STERN, and the vessel and all the installed equipment is currently being tested prior to the sea trials which commence in the first part of June.
The ship represents a new era to Ulstein Group as a shipbuilder and the Schulte Group as a company. The group, initially named Schulte & Bruns when it was established by consul Johann Hermann Schulte and his friend Christoph Bruns in Papenburg, Germany in 1883, has passed several milestones during their long history. A new milestone was passed in 2014 when they entered the offshore wind turbine market 2014 through their signing of the contract for two service offshore vessels from Ulstein Verft.
“A success story”
To Matthias Mueller and his colleagues in Bernhard Schulte Offshore there was no doubt in choosing Ulstein Verft in the small town of Ulsteinvik for the shipbuilding task.
“They were chosen after a long tender process, initiated by Siemens AG, who wanted two new vessels. We got interested in the tender, and started to look for designs and solutions. We liked the ships with the X-BOW design that had been delivered from this Norway-based company previously, and we quickly learned that Ulstein would be a good cooperating partner to us,” says Mueller, adding:
«Ulstein had the X-BOW, we came up with ideas and suggestions for how we could implement the solutions and equipment we wanted. A design team was established, consisting of people from the wind industry, shipbuilding industry and oil & gas industry. Together, we came up with this beauty, and we won the tender. As we speak, the yard is on schedule with the delivery of the first and the second vessel. This is truly a success story. These two vessels are also the first with the prize-winning X-STERN solution, and are also unique by the integration of the gangway in the ship design.
“I must confess, the X-STERN design is sexy! It is also very functional. The load capacity is well exploited, and the work place for the crew is even more effective,” says Mueller.
Deputy CEO in Ulstein Group, Tore Ulstein, is highly satisfied with the feedback from Mueller and Bernhard Schulte Offshore, and is looking forward to the delivery of the vessels.
“We have extensive experience from the construction of vessels to the oil and gas industry, but there is a global change into more environment-conscious solutions. Climate issues must be addressed, and we see a growing interest in the market for offshore oil wind installations. Ulstein Group has an intention of taking a position in a greener energy production. The offshore wind is stronger and more consistent compared to the wind blowing over land. However, offshore wind installations are more expensive, but good cooperation initiative, such as this one between Bernhard Schulte Offshore/Windea Offshore and Ulstein, can lead to reduced-cost solutions,” says Tore Ulstein. “This is an exciting market, but there is a need to improve the solutions, drive costs down, and not to rely on subsidies. The world needs greener energy.”
“We have a good cooperation with our partners in this projects. They expect much from us, and we enjoy being tested in order to perform even better. “
Walking about the yard premises, Matthias Mueller and Tore Ulstein meet Lidvar Lillerovde, who is project manager for both vessels. Lillerovde says the construction process has been challenging and very educational:
“This is a completely new type of vessel and a new concept. We’ve had much to learn, when working with the requests from the owners and the end-user, and this has been very awarding.”