To build two offshore wind service vessels


Ulstein Verft has signed a ship building contract with the Germany-based Bernhard Schulte for two service operation vessels (SOVs) of the ULSTEIN SX175 design. "Delivery schedule reliability was our number one priority when choosing the ship yard", comments Matthias Müller at Bernhard Schulte.

The final detailed arrangements and equipment for the vessels have been developed and specified in cooperation with WINDEA Offshore GmbH & Co. KG, which is the Bernhard Schulte’s affiliate for offshore wind projects.

“Delivery schedule reliability was our number one priority when choosing the ship yard. We considered several yards worldwide, but Ulstein Verft was our final choice. They have a solid reputation, not only on keeping to delivery schedules, but also of delivering innovative vessels of high quality.”
(Matthias Müller, Business Development Director at Bernhard Schulte)

Christian Brozinski, Business Development Manager at WINDEA, adds:

“After working together very closely and successfully in the design phase with Ulstein Design & Solutions, we are pleased to continue the project with ULSTEIN by choosing their yard. The collaborative design team consisting of ULSTEIN, WINDEA and Bernhard Schulte created a vessel which perfectly fits the needs of the offshore wind industry.”

First from Ulstein Verft for wind industry
“Sustainable growth is essential for ULSTEIN and we have previously delivered ship designs within the renewable energy segment. We look forward to cooperating with WINDEA, who are a new and interesting partner for us,” says Ulstein Group CEO Gunvor Ulstein.

“These are the first service operation vessels for the wind industry to be built at the yard and we look forward to delivering two state-of-the-art vessels in Q2 2016 and Q1 2017,” comments Kristian Sætre, managing director at Ulstein Verft.

The vessels can accommodate 60 people in single cabins, of which 40 cabins are dedicated to technicians who service wind turbines. An offshore wind service vessel’s most important task is to stay positioned on DP close to the turbines, with as little movements as possible, in order to provide a safe transfer for the technicians from the vessel through a heave compensated gangway to the turbines.

First X-STERN®
The vessels will be the first of the ULSTEIN SX175 design, developed to meet the requirements for the offshore wind industry. Important features are the new X-STERN hull line design as well as the proven X-BOW®. The vessel can operate with stern or front towards wind, waves and current, increasing the operational window.

“We have had a close and very good cooperation with the owner during the process and are very pleased that WINDEA chose this innovative solution, and that the first vessels with X-STERN will be built,” states Kolbjørn Moldskred, Sales manager offshore wind at Ulstein Design & Solutions AS.

The ULSTEIN SX175 is a design developed to meet future demands within the servicing and maintenance of offshore wind installations. Significant effort has gone into the optimisation of the vessel’s movements in order to ensure the safe transfer of technicians and equipment in connection with the operations, maintenance and servicing of wind turbines. There has been a major focus on the welfare of the technicians who will live on board. While developing the cabins and facilities, the aim has been to position these where the vessel’s movements are lowest.

The X-BOW, the X-STERN and the integrated DC-based common main drive system, with variable rpm control of the diesel engines for power and propulsion system, are essential design features. In addition to the catalyst, these will fulfil the highest international environmental requirement (IMO-Tier3).

The X-STERN is a design feature that increases operability through positive effects on station keeping, wave response, comfort and safety in harsh conditions.

An X-STERN vessel can stay on position in harsh weather with the stern towards waves, wind and current. For vessels where the best possible motion characteristics are vital, positioning the X-STERN towards the weather instead of the bow will be the Captain’s natural choice.

The X-STERN has several of the same characteristics as the X-BOW (below). Its gentle displacement reduces acceleration, pitch and heave, it improves comfort and safety, and the operational window is increased. There will be no sea on deck due to the stern shape and enclosed nature of the aft deck.

When a vessel enters a wave and starts to submerge, the submersion is smooth and the buoyancy will increase gradually. The increased volume and volume distribution of an ULSTEIN X-BOW vessel will lead to lower wave response and lower speed loss in waves, or the choice to keep speed with reduced fuel consumption. There will be no wave reflection or bow impact.

The first X-BOW vessel on her way to the North Sea.

Bernhard Schulte is a worldwide leading family-owned ship owner and ship manager that employs 16,000 seafarers and 1,500 onshore personnel, owns 100 vessels and manages more than 650 vessels.
WINDEA Offshore is a joint venture of Bernhard Schulte, EMS Maritime Offshore and SSC Wind Group. As a representative of a reliable and keen group of specialists, WINDEA provides multiple solutions including consulting for the construction and the maintenance of offshore wind farms.
ULSTEIN is an internationally renowned provider of ship design, shipbuilding and system solutions for ships. For nearly 100 years, the company has developed future-oriented products and services for the maritime industry.