The first of two Damen Twin Axe Fast Crew Suppliers has officially been handed over to British company Sure Wind.
A specialist in the German offshore wind market, Sure Wind already has work for the two newbuild FCS 2610 vessels. The first vessel Sure Star will head straight to Esbjerg and will then be deployed in the German market. A second sister vessel, Sure Swift will be delivered end-February.
Established in 2009, Sure Wind now has 10 dedicated wind farm service and crew transfer vessels but this is the first time the company has ordered a Damen vessel. However, Sure Wind owns the first FCS 2610 ever built – the pioneering ‘Shamal' - which it acquired from another British offshore wind company in July 2013. This vessel was then renamed Sure Shamal.
Andrew Bagshaw, Operations Director Sure Wind Marine Limited, comments: "We were very pleased with Shamal's performance and have been keen to buy a new Damen FCS 2610. This design is very popular with crew transfer and energy companies because of its excellent seakeeping abilities. And indeed, wherever we are tendering clients are asking for the 2610."
Going further offshore
"We also operate 20 m DNV classed vessels, which are mostly employed in Germany or Denmark as they have the German Equivalence Certification. We wanted to get larger vessels, especially because more and more offshore wind farms are going further offshore." It is also very important that the vessels are classed in line with German requirements, he stresses.
As well as this, fast delivery times were crucial for the company. The Sure Star was only ordered in the September last year. Other companies are typically offering delivery times of 18 months to two years, Mr Bagshaw adds.
"We are very optimistic about prospects for the market, particularly in Germany and Denmark and France is also starting to get underway. We certainly don't exclude the possibility of other Damen FCS 2610 orders or other offshore vessels. We are really expecting this market to flourish."
Arjen van Elk, Damen Sales Manager UK & Ireland, says: "It is great to see Sure Wind take the decision to buy two newbuild vessels after seeing the Shamal in operation – the very first vessel of the 2610 series. Their two new vessels have an extended wheelhouse and much more accommodation."
The FCS 2610 is being built at Damen Shipyards Singapore, which is a Group specialist in high-speed aluminium craft. Mr Van Elk: "We are building the FCS 2610 for stock to keep up with demand and soon we will have built some 40 of these vessels in just three years!"