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Conference programme 

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Poster session

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, Managing Director, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Sidharth Jain MEC Consulting, India

(1) MEC Consulting, Gurgaon, India

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at OFFSHORE 2015 and are published here unedited

Mr. Sidharth has been working in the Offshore Wind industry for almost 8 years. He is currently a Director at MEC Intelligence (owned by Quartz+Co), an industry focused advisory firm He has done extensive work in the offshore wind industry advising WTG, Utility and Foundation firms on growth avenues and strategy for reducing cost. He is an engineer by education and has been active as an industry analyst and strategy consultant. His research focus is on understanding contracting, business models, and risk in offshore wind with a focus on construction.


Monopiles and jackets are not likely to be right the solution for over 28 % of the 6000 turbines to be installed by 2020, as they wouldn’t find the vessels with right lifting capacity, necessitating a need for alternative solutions


• We analyze the lifting capacity of vessels currently in the market against the demand for the lifting capacity from key foundations designs for the upcoming European offshore wind projects (10 – 60 m depth, 4 MW – 10 MW turbine sizes, 30 – 120 km distance, soft seabed to rocky seabed, 11 different geographic zones in Europe).
• Over 6000 turbines are to be installed in Europe by 2020, of which 4 MW is expected to be the dominant turbine size (~60 % of turbines); but with significant traction of 6 MW (26 %) and 8 MW (13 %) turbines, as well.
• With increasing depths (average 30 m by 2020) and turbine sizes, future foundations will be much heavier (weight range of 800 - 2000 tonnes).


•A comprehensive database of offshore windfarms has been analysed to assess potential demand for lifting vessels until 2020.
•We have built and analysed a comprehensive database of 287 vessels in Europe used for transportation / installation (including barges, jack up barges, jack up vessels, heavy lifting vessels, cranes, tugs, windfarm installation vessels) to assess potential supply situation uptil 2020.
•Vessels have been categorised according to their lifting capacities (0-400 Tonnes, 400- 800 Tonnes, 800 -1200 Tonnes, 1200 – 1600 Tonnes, > 2000 Tonnes). Demand and supply (in vessel days) has been compared across different lifting categories.

Main body of abstract

• If most of the vessels available in Europe are considered dedicated to wind farm installations (and not consumed by other offshore construction / oil and gas sector activities), there is likely to be a major shortage of vessels with the right lifting capacity because of the large number of projects being constructed in parallel.
• This shortage of the right sized vessels would manifest itself by deployment of bigger and more expensive lifting vessels leading to a non-optimum demand supply situation –
o Turbines of size 4 MW, 6 MW at depths of 20m, 30m are likely to face a significant shortage of vessels with the right lifting capacities (800 – 1200 tonnes) during 2017-2020, as over 1130 turbines would not get optimum vessels. These projects would need to depend on vessels with bigger lifting capacities (1200 – 1600 tonne or > 1600 tonne), which would be at least 30 – 60 % costlier.
o Turbines of size 6 MW (at 40m, 50 m depth), and of 8 MW (at depths of 30m, 40 m) are also likely to face a shortage of vessels with the right lifting capacities (1200 tonne – 1600 tonnes) during 2019-2020, as over 300 turbines would not get optimum vessels, and would need to depend on vessels with bigger lifting capacities (> 1600 tonne), which would be at least 30 % costlier.
o Turbines of size 8 MW (> 40 m depth), and of 10 MW (at > 20 m depth) are likely to face a shortage of vessels with adequate lifting capacities (> 1600 tonnes) during 2019-2020, as over 200 turbines would not get any vessels.


Our analysis shows that if all developers go in for monopiles or jackets – while over 200 turbines (8 MW, 10 MW) needing very high lifting capacity (> 1600 tonnes) will be unable to find any vessels with adequate lifting capacity, over 1500 turbines (4 MW, 6 MW, 8 MW) are likely to not find the right sized vessel, and would need to depend on vessels with higher lifting capacities (which would be 30 -60 % more expensive).
• This availability risk (shortage of supply) for optimum sized vessels is likely to lead to higher project costs (by 30-60 %) or significant project delays, necessitating new developments in alternative / crane free foundation designs.

Learning objectives
The objective of the analysis is to help wind farm developers understand potential vessel supply risks associated with monopiles or jackets, and to comprehend potential implications on effective project costs or project timelines.