May 24 - Hochseeoperationen mit Kranen (HoOK) [Offshore Operations with Cranes] - a German joint project between Hamburg University of Technology, offshore engineer Mareval AG Hamburg and maritime engineers HeavyLift@Sea - has been launched to research an

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and sponsored by research company Projektträger Jülich (PTJ). The trio aim to improve tools for the simulation of offshore crane operations, and to encourage early integration of the software into the design and construction of new ships.

"We want to develop a simulation tool which enables the optimisation of the whole system of ships with cranes even at an early planning stage," commented Hendrik Gröne, md of HeavyLift@Sea, adding: "Until now the simulation of crane operations on a moving ship has hardly been discussed in ship building technology studies and has not been considered in design."

The research project is scheduled for three years and HeavyLift@Sea will contribute its ship design and operation skills to the project.

Mareval AG will coordinate the research undertaking and according to Dr.Eng. Hendrik Vorhölte, there is a shortage of simulation and calculation tools that can analyse crane operations in offshore conditions. "These kinds of tools are needed in particular in order to be able to identify and enhance potential cost reductions in the installation of offshore wind farms," Vorhölte explained.

Prof. Stefan Krüger from the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) feels that energy from offshore wind farms will only be successful if more shipbuilding expertise is incorporated in their construction. The university will contribute its experience and skills to the project, in order to improve the competitiveness of its industry partners.