Njord Offshore’s two latest 26m offshore crew vessels (24 pax), equipped with Volvo Penta’s IPS900 Quad drives, are now ready for heavy-duty use in the North Sea.
After a year operating four new 26m crew transfer vessels (CTVs) fitted with Volvo Penta’s IPS900 Quad drives, Njord Offshore – which transports crew to and from offshore wind farms – has added another two new 24 pax vessels with the same propulsion system to its fleet. The U.K. company now has 15 CTVs of 21m and 26m in its fleet, and one of its latest vessels will be available for demonstration sea trials at Seawork International trade show in Southampton.
The Quad IPS900 equipped CTV will be complemented by a display, at Seawork, of other marine engines in Volvo Penta’s extensive range.
Tom Mehew, director at Njord Offshore, said, “We’ve been using Volvo Penta’s IPS900 Quad system in our 26-meter CTVs for over a year now and all expectations have been fulfilled. We, and our customers, require speed, maneuverability and efficiency combined with high static bollard push. In addition, we also look for reliability and redundancy to maximize the uptime for our clients.”
“The advantages of the IPS have been fully proven. The joystick controls are intuitive, the control response times are fast and accurate which ultimately makes docking on a boat landing in rough weather easier and safer – we also have a dynamic fender system to reduce the load on the boat landings during these conditions.”
Njord Offshore, based in Essex, has been operating crew transfer vessels for offshore wind farms since 2012 across Northern Europe.
The 26m CTV catamarans have been designed by UK-based naval architect BMT Nigel Gee and built by Singapore-based Strategic Marine. They have two Volvo Penta IPS900 drives in each hull. The new CTVs have a capacity of 24 passengers and four crew, with a deadweight of 30 metric tons.
Volvo Penta’s IPS packages have long been a safe and secure option for customers operating in the offshore energy industry. The precision handling and excellent maneuverability provided by the system’s joystick steering, high thrust propulsion and Dynamic Positioning System, ensures that a vessel can be held in a steady position against wind turbines, even in conditions of strong currents and high waves.
A reduction in fuel consumption of up to 30 per cent results in lower CO₂ emissions by the same percentage. The IPS also offers an unbeatable load capacity per horsepower in relation to speed.
“Wind farming is a naturally clean and environmentally-friendly industry, with a major focus on reducing costs as well as emissions,” said Gerard Törneman, sales project manager for Volvo Penta’s Marine Commercial sector. “Our IPS900 Quad drives have been proven to cut fuel costs, and with fewer emissions they reduce the environmental impact, which has a benefit for the future.”
With four IPS drive systems, the catamarans can operate at high speeds even when fully loaded, reaching 27-29 knots. The IPS package is also lighter than traditional engines of the same performance capabilities, enabling ease of handling.
Building and operating a vessel with the IPS drive means that customers benefit from Volvo Penta’s all-inclusive manufacturing and servicing provision. Due to the company’s extensive dealer network, a customer’s complete driveline – including engine, pods and control system – are all covered by the extended coverage program.
During discussions about the building of the new CTVs, Njord Offshore specified that they needed high performance vessels capable of taking on board an increase in passenger numbers, which would operate in all weathers and sea conditions.
Andrew Thwaites, technical director of Njord Offshore, said, “It’s a specialist challenge, getting crew to and from wind farms in rough seas. These new boats can be at sea around the clock and the crew live on board 24/7, so they are equipped with all modern conveniences. It’s exciting for us to be demonstrating them at Seawork.
“Volvo Penta has offered us a very good service - they’ve been spot on.”