NYK’s First and Japan’s Largest CTV Starts Service at Offshore Wind Farm

NYK crew transfer vessel
Rera As is Japan's largest and NYK's first CTV for support of offshore wind farms (NYK)

Published Jul 13, 2023 7:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

NYK has placed its first crew transfer vessel into service as the historic Japanese shipping company looks to gain a foothold in Japan’s emerging offshore wind power generation business. They are reporting that the vessel has unique capabilities and they believe it is the largest gross tonnage CTV currently in operation in Japan.

The Rera As is a 230 gross ton vessel built in Singapore at the PT Kim Seah Shipyard Indonesia, a subsidiary of Penguin Shipyard International. It is 89 feet in length and has a passenger capacity of 12. Certified by Class NK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai) the vessel has a wind farm notation which recognizes that the vessel is fully equipped with facilities and manuals necessary for the safe transportation of workers. According to the class society, this ship is the first domestic CTV to be recognized as a wind farm support vessel.

Among the equipment provided specifically for wind farm operations is a high-grip fender similar to that used in Europe on CTV vessels. The fenders increase the frictional force when the vessel presses against the wind turbine's tower, stabilizing the ship. The fenders also increase stability during worker transfers, directly contributing to safe transport.

NYK is also highlighting that the vessel is the first vessel in Japan to adopt an operational monitoring system specialized for CTVs developed by Reygar, a British marine equipment manufacturer. The system makes it possible to comprehensively collect and analyze data on the vessel's movements, fuel consumption, equipment status, etc., and check it both on board and ashore. They also outfitted the vessel with high-speed Internet service to ensure uninterrupted communications while at sea. The system enables 4G communications in areas close to land and high-speed satellite communications in remote ocean areas, contributing to an improved work environment and welfare for seafarers.

The Rera As was completed in April in Singapore, and its flag was changed to Japan after equipment modifications, such as the fenders and radio equipment, and other inspections were completed at the Oppama factory of Keihin Dock Co. The ship arrived at Ishikari Bay New Port in northern Japan on June 27 after a series of training sessions in Hokkaido.

The CTV was delivered to Siemens Gamesa under a time charter contract. NYK will manage and operate the vessel which will be used to support the offshore wind power generation facilities at Ishikari Bay New Port. Starting this month, the CTV will begin transporting workers involved in maintenance for offshore wind power generation facilities.

The new wind farm, which has been under construction since 2022, is expected to become Japan’s largest offshore wind and power storage facility when it begins commercial operations which are expected for December 2023. It is a 112 MW wind farm consisting of 14 Siemens Gamesa turbines each with an 8 MW capacity.

NYK has been working to develop its presence in the emerging offshore wind sector. Several Japanese companies view the industry as a growth opportunity and have been moving to create a presence as Japan’s first wind farms are commissioned.