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Delivery of Bernhard Schulte’s next generation hybrid offshore wind vessel

Ulstein Verft has delivered the Service Operation Vessel ‘WINDEA JULES VERNE’ to Bernhard Schulte Offshore GmbH. The hybrid vessel will work at the Merkur Offshore Wind farm, where she will be operating for GE Renewable Energy.

WINDEA JULES VERNE quayside at Ulstein Verft.
Change of flags ceremony on the bridge of the WINDEA JULES VERNE.
Change of flags, from left Ulstein Verft project manager Helge Torvik and site manager for Bernhard Schulte, Markus Hübner.

At the vessel’s sea trial all systems were tested, included the hybrid system. Offshore wind is a renewable source of energy, and by introducing a hybrid system on this vessel the fuel consumption and emissions will be reduced – thereby the overall operations will be greener.

The vessel for Bernhard Schulte is based on the ULSTEIN SX195 design from Ulstein Design & Solutions AS, which measures 93.4 m in length and 18m in the beam. It has accommodation for 120 people. The vessel functions as a ‘home away from home’ for numerous offshore wind service engineers as well as the ship’s crew. Much effort has been placed in keeping comfort high for those on board. Firstly, the X-BOW® and X-STERN™ lead to softer motions in head seas, significantly reducing slamming and vibrations. This leads to increased quality of sleep and rest when off shifts. There are also several lounges in close connection to the mess room, a gaming room, a library, saunas and an exercise room.

The vessel is equipped with a tower holding a personnel and equipment elevator and a heave compensated gangway for safe transferral to the offshore wind turbines for maintenance and service work. Besides the usual way of operation with the bow to the weather this vessel can move backwards with the stern first when operating infield and will as an add-on use a daughter craft to further increase the service capacity.

Merkur Offshore is located outside of Germany. The 66 turbines in this wind farm provide green energy for approximately half a million homes.