December 6 - The head of newbuilding at Danish off-shore wind farm installer A2SEA has returned from a visit to the Chinese shipyard constructing the 11-year old company's latest offshore wind turbine installation jack-up vessel, the Sea Installer.

A2SEA's head of newbuilding, Michael Østergaard, recently returned from the COSCO Qidong Shipyard in China to give directors and managers an update on the USD 140 million vessel's progress.

At present, the project team at A2SEA's office is carrying out factory acceptance tests (FATS) of all the main equipment to be installed in the hull, including the main engines and jacking systems.

Østergaard says: "The equipment is shipped to China and then tested before it is installed in the vessel's hull. And so far so good - we are on target to meet our 2012 deadline."

After the vessel is launched, it will enter the final fitting phase, in which the main crane and jack-up legs will be installed.

Østergaard says: "As soon as we've launched the vessel, we'll lift the prefabricated accommodation block into place. Then the Sea Installer will be ready for her crane.

"With the project running to schedule, we should see Sea Installer ready to play her part in European offshore wind farm installation by early 2013."

Sea Installer will have a length of 132 m, breadth of 39 m, draft 5.8 m and a speed of 12 knots. She is able to jack-up at water depths of up to 45 m with a loading capacity of 5,000 tonnes which is equal to eight to ten offshore wind turbines. The crane capacity is 900 tonnes.