London Offshore Consultants (LOC), in its role as marine warranty surveyor, has approved the principle behind GustoMSC and Barge Master’s Jones Act-compliant feeder barge system for offshore wind energy projects in the USA.
Earlier this year, Barge Master and GustoMSC joined forces to develop the Steady Top Feeder concept to address the longstanding barrier to the development of the USA’s offshore wind energy sector: the lack of available US-flagged jack up installation vessels.
As HLPFI reported here, the feeder system enables turbine components to be shuttled offshore using a BM-T1700 motion-compensated platform aboard a US-flagged offshore vessel of seagoing barge. A non-US-flagged jack up installation vessel can wait offshore ready to perform installation works.
Bringing the concept one step closer to realisation, LOC gave its formal approval of the work method.
Peter Croll, consultant engineer at LOC, explained: “The reviewed procedure is found to be acceptable at this stage of project development as a principle. LOC believes that with detailed hazard identification studies (HAZID) and other normal project review processes for a live project this approach could be approved.”
Barge Master and GustoMSC added: “The concept is of special use to the future installation contractor that will construct wind farms such as the Vineyard Wind project offshore the US East Coast while adhering to the requirements of the Jones Act, because existing Jones Act compliant barges can be used for the solution.”