25 October 2012
Swire Blue Ocean has taken delivery of the first of two self-elevating, self-propelled vessels designed by KNUD E. HANSEN. With a length of 161 metres and a beam of 49 metres, Pacific Orca is the largest wind turbine installation vessel in the world. The second vessel, Pacific Osprey, is currently in build at Samsung Geoje Shipyard and is due to be delivered in the winter of 2013.
The vessels are equipped with six, 105 metre long truss-type legs and a high-speed rack-and-pinion jacking system. This enables them to jack up to a safe height of 17 metres above the water in 60 metres of water depth, from where they can withstand even the most severe storm conditions. Should the water depth be greater than 60 metres then the legs can be lengthened by a further 15 metres. The 1,200 tonne work-around-leg crane is capable of installing nacelles up to 500 tonnes in weight on top of turbine towers up to 120 metres above sea level, and the 4,300 m2 cargo deck has space for up to twelve 3.6 MW turbines.
KNUD E. HANSEN designed relatively fine hull lines for the bow to give the vessels good performance even in higher waves, and with four stern thrusters, two bow thrusters plus two drop-down thrusters and a DP-2 dynamic positioning system, the vessels have state-of-the-art manoeuvrability. The accommodation is designed with 111 crew single cabins with en-suite bathrooms as well as all necessary crew facilities and offices. A heli-deck is positioned forward above the accommodation block for the transfer of crew.