July 26 - The accommodation ship, Wind Solution has docked at Harwich International Port on its maiden call.

The 8,900 dwt ship acts as a floating hotel for staff operating in support of the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, part of the second round of the UK government's offshore wind energy programme.

The arrival of the ship demonstrates some of the wider economic benefits of offshore wind energy activity as support services and companies grow in importance. Indirect services to support the sector such as employment agencies, training services and accommodation providers, including offshore facilities, have developed in many markets. Likewise, material handling and storage companies have adapted existing equipment or created new dedicated handling equipment in response to the unique characteristics of wind energy generation - such as long and light blades, nacelles, tower sections and transmission equipment.

Wind Solution is likely to make frequent calls at the UK east coast port in the coming months. The ship offers quality accommodation and entertainment for workers, including a movie lounge, fitness hall and a game zone.

David Gledhill, CEO of Harwich International owner Hutchison Ports, said: "We are pleased to welcome the Wind Solution as part of the Greater Gabbard project. Harwich International is building a reputation with the renewables industry for convenient location, facilities and expertise and we are proud to continue the good work."