As new offshore wind projects continue to be set up around the globe, Damen Shipyards Group has announced a new design. The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 3410 service accommodation and transfer vessel (SATV) contains numerous design features that ensure its suitability for operations in the developing offshore wind market in North America.
The design of the new vessel builds on the success of proven Damen designs that have earned themselves an outstanding reputation in the European renewables market. The main feature of the design is the Damen Twin Axe bow. The Axe Bow, a patented design that allows the vessel to cut through waves instead of slamming, significantly improves seakeeping and onboard comfort. Damen’s FCS 2610 optimised this seakeeping behaviour by combining the Axe Bow with a catamaran hull form.
The FCS 2610 was heralded as a game changer in the offshore renewables industry in Europe and went on to sell over 45 vessels. Damen has recently developed this theme further with the FCS 2710 – a new FCS vessel one metre longer than its predecessor and, significantly, with an additional metre in water clearance, enabling the vessel safely extended operational windows.
The FCS 3410 further develops this evolutionary theme, tailoring the concept to meet the requirements of the emerging US offshore renewables market, as Daan Dijxhoorn, Damen sales manager US explained. “This vessel is well suited to numerous markets, however, we have given it long endurance capability so that it can remain at sea for up to five days at a time – a requirement typically seen in US operations. To facilitate this we have designed a vessel 6 metres longer than previous FCS types, able to host more on board personnel and accommodation.”
The FCS 3410 also draws on the successful Damen Accommodation Support Vessel 9020, a walk-to-work vessel designed for transporting and providing accommodation for offshore personnel for up to a month.
Daan continues: There’s a real sense that offshore wind is building momentum. The Black Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island is still the only wind farm in operation off the coast of the USA nearly two years after it opened, but a number of states are pushing ahead with their own plans for offshore renewable energy development.”
Massachusetts currently leads the way in these developments with a target of 1,600 MW generated by wind energy by 2027 and having an 800 MW project planned to begin next year. New York, New Jersey and Maryland also have plans in the pipeline.
The FCS 3410 would be built on location in the United States. For many years, US partner yards have built Damen designs at domestic locations, providing American ship owners with access to Damen’s designs while complying with the requirements of the Jones Act. This process, the Damen Technical Cooperation, ranges from simple licensing up to the delivery of full materials package, including technical support.