EnBW Buys One-of-a-Kind Hydraulic Suspension CTV for Offshore Wind Farms

EnBW / Wallaby

Published Apr 22, 2024 2:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

German boatbuilder Wallaby Boats has delivered a radically-different kind of crew transfer vessel for the utility EnBW. CTVs are small compared to their big offshore brethren, the OSV-sized service operation vessels (SOVs), and have a narrower weather window. Wallaby's 18-meter CTV aims to expand serviceability in rough weather by putting the main deck on a suspension system, above two independent catamaran hulls. 

"The ship Impulse is a pioneering piece of German engineering. It is our goal to have offshore wind farms with a total output of 30 GW producing electricity in Germany by 2030. For this we will need even more ships like this," said German economy minister Robert Habeck at a christening ceremony. 

EnBW hopes that the newly-named Impulse will make maintenance cheaper and help reduce the cost of offshore wind at the Baltic 2 wind farm. The suspension system - designed by Nauti-Craft Pty - lets the twin hulls move independently to compensate for wave action. Simulations show that the boat should be able to safely transfer technicians to wind towers in wave heights of up to about seven feet (sea state 4 to low-5). 

Courtesy Wallaby Boats

The hydraulic suspension should also reduce ship motion experienced by the boat's crew, reducing fatigue and risk of seasickness. The system also generates heat energy, which can be used for deck deicing or cabin heating.  

Wallaby is the first boatbuilder to incorporate the Nauti-Craft suspension system. While it is building in Europe to start, it is open to inquiries about creating a Jones Act-compliant version of its unique CTV for the American market.