Now berthed at alongside, Maersk Connector will now undergo installation of a helideck, cranes and bridge, as well as the fitting-out of the interior. Once sea trials, set for the end of this year, are complete, the vessel is destined for oil and gas projects in the North Sea.
The vessel, of the Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) 8500 design, is 138 m in length with a beam of 27.5 m. The 9,300 dwt vessel features 2,200 sq m of unobstructed deck with a loading capacity of 20t/cu m and ro-ro capability.
Chief commercial and strategy officer at MSS, Søren Karas, stated, “We are naturally very pleased to see that our long-term customer DeepOcean has already assigned the vessel to its first project, and we look forward to providing superior marine operations to enable DeepOcean’s continued success.”
“We are delighted to see the positive progress being made on this high quality Damen vessel and are very pleased with the working relationships with our partners,” said Pierre Boyde, commercial director at DeepOcean. “Last week we signed our first project for the Maersk Connector - on the Bligh Bank Wind Farm - and look forward to finalising further contracts elsewhere in the near future.
“This new vessel will be a critical part of our growth strategy, delivering production efficiencies that will contribute to the lowering of costs in the offshore wind sector. In particular it will play an important part in the roll-out of the next generation of interconnectors that will contribute so much towards maintaining the UK’s energy security and lowering the wholesale cost of electricity.”
Speaking at the launch, Remko Bouma, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem sales manager, commented: “We are very pleased that the project is meeting all its milestones precisely on time, and the co-operation with the clients has been excellent. We are confident that the rate of progress will continue up to delivery in February 2016.”
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