Construction of a 30 metre-long, purpose-built floating crew transfer pontoon in Aberdeen Harbour’s Albert Basin has been successfully completed by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall – supporting a new gateway for renewables in the centre of the country’s energy industry.
The 180m² pontoon, which is the only one of its kind at Aberdeen Harbour, has been specially built on Commercial Quay West as part of a 24-year agreement with the Harbour Board and can accommodate up to three crew transfer vessels at any one time.
It will initially be used to support construction of Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) and then as a marine support base for its on-going operations and maintenance (O&M) programme.Crew movements will peak during the commissioning period, the operations activity and in the summer for planned maintenance.
Adam Ezzamel, EOWDC project director at Vattenfall, said: “An integral part of developing offshore wind farms is safe access to the wind turbines for the commissioning and on-going O&M phase. This involves regular planned and ad hoc visits of technicians to inspect, maintain and service the offshore infrastructure.
“The mooring pontoon will provide a safe means of embarking and disembarking the crew transfer vessel which shuttle technicians to the EOWDC offshore site, Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility. As a result, we are pleased it will also become a new renewables asset for the harbour and support the development of the region’s marine renewables industry.”
Aberdeen Harbour Commercial Director, Matt North, commented: “We are delighted to be providing a marine support base for this important development, and this initiative represents the port’s first long-term agreement in support of an offshore-wind project.
“At Aberdeen Harbour, we have always been at the centre of the energy industry and we hope to provide increasing support for this market and support our customers with other such diversification opportunities. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Vattenfall.”
The 30m crew transfer pontoon comes complete with a dedicated secure access ramp leading to a 26m long bridge section for safe access in and out. Secured by three 24m long, 914 mm diameter steel piles anchored into the seabed, it is outfitted with a lighting array to facilitate 24-hour operation as well as mains power and safety and survival equipment.
The pontoon was designed and installed by Scottish-based companies, further supporting the Scottish renewables supply chain.