Wind and Water

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Converting wind energy into electrical energy using wind turbines is a sustainable and clean way to help meet increasing global electricity demands.

EPSA is proud to be working with Austal to supply Cat® engines for vessels serving the offshore wind farm industry.

John Taylor, EPSA Regional Sales Manager WA, says that one of the key operators behind the scenes is Austal, a world leader in the design, construction and support of customised high-performance aluminium vessels for the commercial high-speed vessel market.

Austal builds transfer vessels specifically designed for the burgeoning offshore wind farm industry. Its ‘Wind Express’ series service vessels and offshore crew and supply boats providing efficient, safe and reliable methods of personnel transfer and service supply for offshore wind farm operators.

“EPSA has been working with Austal for many years on various commercial vessels used in numerous applications, and is thrilled to be supplying Cat engines to a company involved in supporting clean energy.”

Supporting sustainable energy development

The potential of wind energy, especially offshore wind power, is enormous. Offshore wind farms can generate more electricity than onshore locations due to the lack of obstructions and higher wind speeds. This will ultimately result in the supply of more electricity and help to reduce energy imports, air pollution and greenhouse gases (by displacing fossil-fuel power generation).

John adds: “These increasingly specialised vessels are being designed and built to be reliable and seaworthy, so the selection of robust and easily maintained machinery is important.”

To date, Austal has delivered three 21-metre vessels and one 27-metre TriSwath vessel to Europe. Most recently, Austal was contracted to design and construct one 21-metre and three 27-metre catamarans for UK-based company Turbine Transfers to support wind turbine installation and maintenance activities in European waters. Turbine Transfers operates fast catamarans to move personnel and equipment between the shore and wind turbines for customers including Siemens, RWE NPower, Van Oord, Dong Energy, EnBW and Boskalis.

Cat power

Able to transport 12 personnel and 10 tonnes of equipment and stores to and from wind turbines, the 27-metre vessels are powered by four Cat C18 diesel engines, rated at 533 bkW/715 hp at 2,100 rpm with ZF 650 gearboxes, plus Cat C2.2 generator sets rated at 24 ekW.

The propulsion packages (engines, gear-up boxes, and class alarm and monitoring systems) and generator sets were built at EPSA’s Perth facility and shipped to Austal’s Philippines shipyard where the three catamarans are being built. All three vessels were commissioned and delivered in the first quarter of 2014.


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