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E.ON orders four new offshore wind farm service vessels

E.ON has awarded Great Yarmouth-based Alicat Workboats a contract to build four new state of the art vessels to support its offshore wind generation portfolio. The first to be built will serve E.ON's 180MW Robin Rigg wind farm in the Solway Firth.

The boat builder has already begun construction on the 19 metre high speed offshore wind farm service vessel, with delivery due for mid-2013. The bespoke aluminium catamarans are the latest Global Marine Design models to be built at Alicat's yard and will, according to Alicat, offer greater loading capability across the fore deck, as well as a well-equipped aft deck.

A redesigned saloon and island wheelhouse arrangement will also feature. Powered by two MAN V12 engines and jet propulsion via twin Rolls Royce Kamewa jets, the workboats will be capable of 30 knots.

Steve Thacker, general manager of Alicat Workboats, said: "At Alicat we're as committed to the aftercare of the vessels as we are to building them in the first place and we look forward to forming a close working relationship during the construction of these vessels and beyond."

Alicat Workboats was established in 2009 in response to a growing demand for vessels to provide operation and maintenance support in the offshore wind sector. Located near E.ON's Scroby Sands wind farm base, the company plans to test the vessels performance in true life situations at the site.

Jon Beresford, offshore wind operations manager at E.ON, said: "Not only are Alicat very local to our Scroby Sands operational base, [but] they also offer a quality product with through-life service which as vessel owners is extremely important to us. Their capability for a comprehensive after sales support makes them so much more than boat builders and we're very much looking forward to working together."

The January/February 2013 issue of Renewable Energy Focus includes a special focus on latest developments in offshore wind farm vessels and O&M – make sure you subscribe now to receive your digital or print copy as soon as its available.

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