WESTCOUNTRY TRIALS FOR OFFSHORE WINDFARM INSTALLATION SHIP
09:00 - 16 February 2004
The world's first purpose-built vessel designed to install offshore wind
turbines around the coast of Europe has arrived in Falmouth. The Mayflower
Resolution, a TIV (Turbine Installation Vessel), is at the port for two
weeks of trials. It is designed to carry ten complete wind turbines which
will be installed on a typical 14-day round trip.
The vessel, which when berthed at the town's docks dwarfs the National
Maritime Museum Cornwall's tower, arrived after a 66-day voyage from
Qinhuangdao shipyard, 300 kilometres east of Beijing, in China.
The 15,000-tonne ship, which has six retractable legs enabling it to act in
a similar manner to a jack-up rig, will be put through trials in the bay.
Computer systems controlling the jack-up sequence will be tested in about
130ft of water.
Mayflower Resolution will then return to the docks for more tests on her
300-tonne capacity crane and minor repairs. During her stay alongside the
docks the ship is expected to be jacked up off the seabed to test the
The 130m-long, 38m-beam vessel can be jacked up at the rate of one metre a
Mayflower Energy, a Middlesbrough-based company, is considering building a
second vessel to support the business.
Company spokesman Alex Campbell said: "Mayflower Resolution will undergo
repairs at Falmouth before entering service later this month when she
completes work on the £76 million North Hoyle windfarm project off North
The ship is unique in the marine world as she has the mixed characteristics
of a ship, a jack-up rig, a dynamic positioning ship and a floating crane.
Arriving at an offshore windfarm site the ship will be put into
"dynamic-positioning mode" - thrusters and the azimuth thrusting propulsion
system linked to a global positioning system via computers hold the ship
precisely in position.
The vessel would then be jacked up until she is well clear of the water. A
300-tonne capacity crane then installs the components of the turbine on to
pre-prepared foundations rising out of the sea. The tubular towers of the
turbines stand 100 metres out of the water with the blades cutting a
Remotely-operated vehicles will run and install the necessary cables between
the various turbines. Cables are run ashore to connect with the grid system.