Bibby WaveMaster 1 was launched today, at the shipbuilder’s yard in Romania. This marks a significant step forward in the delivery of the purpose-built Service Operations Vessel, which will support offshore farm wind construction and operations and maintenance work. The vessel will be delivered to Bibby in mid August 2017.

Bibby Marine Services Ltd, part of the Bibby Line Group’s portfolio of companies,commissioned the vessel from Damen Group in January 2016. The first steel was cut in February 2016 and the launch comes just less than one year from the keel layingwhich took place at the end of March 2016.

Stephen Blaikie, Chief Executive of Bibby Marine Services explains, “This is an important key milestone in the 18 month construction programme. We have worked closely with potential clients and with the shipbuilder to ensure that the vessel meets the needs of its users. Fuel efficiency and clever personnel and logistics workflows are specifically designed to help drive efficiencies and reduce costs.”

The next step is the completion of the internal fit-out. The Comfort Class 2 standard accommodation comprises 60 ensuite berths capable of accommodating up to 90 persons on board;all are equipped with TV ,Wi-Fi, and are complemented by comprehensive leisure facilities and office facilities. The vessel hull has been designed to ensure exceptional seakeeping abilities and reduce the risk of motion sickness. The Bibby Marine Services crew will be joining the vessel and will participate in the upcoming sea trials.

Innovative design lies at the heart of the development – by providing a six stop elevator with access to the height adjustable W2W gangway there is a 100% step-less approach to the wind turbine, meaning that technicians can directly access the gangway from the warehouse areas. A helideck, daughter craft and CTV landings (with refuelling) complement the vessel’s versatility so that is suited to meet the needs of many sectors with the capability of accommodating up to 90 persons on board.

Peter Robert, Director Business Development & Market Intelligence at Damen says, “I am honestly convinced that Damen has designed and built the best vessel for the tasks envisaged. The combination of Damen and Bibby brings together a significant amount of knowledge, which has resulted in some impressive innovation.

Taking into account the trend for wind farms to go farther from the shore in more challenging seas, the customised design provides fast, safe and comfortable access to turbines, and at a lower cost, including in worst case scenario, severe Central North Sea conditions. This results in a vessel capable of providing turbine access up to 3.1 metre Hs. BibbyWaveMaster 1 is able to remain at sea for periods of up to one month at a time.”

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