Sea Challenger gets set for work

Contractor A2Sea’s giant Sea Challenger wind turbine installation vessel (WITIV) has arrived in Esberg, Denmark, to be kitted out for its maiden assignment at Dong Energy’s 210MW Westernmost Rough project in the UK North Sea.

The WTIV, a 16,000-tonne, harsh-environment jack-up able to operate in water depths down to 60 metres with a 900-tonne-capacity crane, is signed up to begin erecting 35 of Siemens’ 6MW SWT-6.0-154 turbines at the development in mid-June.

A2Sea chief Jens Frederik Hansen said the purpose-built Sea Challenger has secured work until the end of 2015.

The Sea Challenger is a sister vessel of the Sea Installer, which joined A2Sea’s fleet in late 2013 to install a pair of the 120-metre-diameter rotor version of Siemens 6MW turbine at Gunfleet Sands 3. Both WTIVs were built at China’s Cosco yard.

Westermost Rough, the first industrial-scale installation of the 154-metre-diameter rotor model of the Siemens turbine, is located 25km north of Spurn Head at the river Humber estuary on England’s east coast.

Switch-on of the UK Round 2 wind farm is expected in the first half of next year.