Resolve and Bibby Develop Walk-to-Work Service for U.S. Offshore Wind

The Bibby WaveMaster 1 and her gangway system (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 07-09-2019 09:45:51

Resolve Marine Group announced Tuesday that it has entered into a partnership with UK-based wind farm vessel operator Bibby Marine Services to offer Jones Act-compliant offshore wind farm walk-to-work services. The partnership is currently focused on the walk-to-work segment, but in the future it may also encompass crew transfer vessels (CTVs), safety training, emergency response, firefighting standby services, and logistical support. 

Resolve has about four decades of experience as a salvor and marine contractor in the Jones Act market, and Bibby Marine Services (a division of Bibby Line Group) operates the UK-flagged walk-to-work vessel WaveMaster 1. The WaveMaster is a Damen-built specialty vessel designed to host wind turbine service crews and deliver them to offshore towers via a heave-compensated gangway - one of a small number of vessels purpose-built for this task. Walk-to-work is a proven solution on the global market, with millions of personnel transfers completed to date in offshore oil and gas, offshore wind and marine construction.

The details of the Resolve-Bibby walk to work solution have not yet been revealed. In addition to purpose-built vessels like the WaveMaster, the suppliers of W2W systems also offer walk-to-work gangway units for temporary or permanent installation on the deck of a suitable vessel of opportunity, like a DP-enabled offshore construction vessel or OSV. The Jones Act market has limits on the nationality of a vessel's hull construction, hull repair, flagging, manning and ownership, but does not cover the national origin of the majority of the ship's equipment - its marine electronics, lifeboats, galley fixtures, deck winches, deck cranes and other miscellaneous fittings. Jones Act-compliant OSVs are available in abundance in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico due to the protracted offshore downturn, and walk-to-work gangways are primarily marketed by two firms in Europe.