COMMERCIAL MARINE - Austal Launches Wind Express Series

Commercial Marine - Austal Launches Wind Express Series

Austal has unveiled a new range of high-speed transfer vessels specifically designed for the burgeoning offshore wind-farm industry.

The WA-based company said its Wind Express series of vessels combine fuel efficiency with advanced sea-keeping characteristics to deliver a premier transportation solution for offshore wind-farm operators.

By utilising Austal’s world renowned advanced hull design and engineering capabilities, the company said each vessel is purpose-built to deliver a rugged, reliable, multi-purpose workboat platform.

Austal said among many significant features of the Wind Express series is the option to
install Austal’s patented Ride Control System (RCS). This, it said, is a first for offshore wind-farm vessels, ensuring a safer, more productive platform, even in rough seas.

Austal chief operating officer, Andrew Bellamy said the vessels would introduce new levels of productivity and safety to the growing offshore wind-farm industry.

“In this industry, reliability is paramount; not only in terms of machinery but also in the ability of the vessels to transfer personnel to and from wind turbines in comfort and safety,” Bellamy said.

“With our Wind Express series, we have introduced platforms that not only deliver reliability but also have the capacity to operate in rougher waters at higher speeds and greater efficiency. These are important characteristics as wind farms are
constructed further offshore,” he said.

Austal said each vessel in the Wind Express series is characterised by optimum passenger comfort and safety, and can be further customised to suit specific sea conditions, routes, work space and payload requirements.

The series incorporates
four vessels, the Wind Express 17, Wind Express 19,
Wind Express 28, and Wind Express 28 – Tri SWATH.

These vessels are said to feature a selection of hull forms ranging from a refined catamaran design for added stability and efficiency to the Austal-developed tri-SWATH hull form delivering unparalleled sea-keeping and onboard comfort in up to sea state 6.

Austal said that like all its vessels, the Wind Express series offers the “peace-of-mind that comes from dealing with an ISO 9001:2008 quality certified shipbuilder with an established network of vessel support and maintenance centres worldwide”.