Class-leading offshore energy service vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, has invested heavily in its operational team and logistical support infrastructure, based on the Isle of Wight. Ahead of the major offshore wind power construction phase beginning in April this year, the business has moved into a new purpose-designed headquarters in Cowes and continued to strengthen its support team.
The investment represents a further commitment to supporting local industry on the Isle of Wight, in conjunction with successful regional training initiatives and an ongoing, highly productive six-year relationship with local boat builder South Boats IoW. The new facility in Cowes has been part-funded by a grant from regional development agency, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and will help to further enhance the opportunities provided by the regional offshore wind supply chain.
With a number of high-profile multi-gigawatt offshore wind developments poised to enter construction from April 2017, the industry is preparing for a prolonged period of heightened activity. Keeping installation schedules on track for the largest offshore wind farms in the world to date will demand the highest standards of availability and versatility from the UK and wider European supply chains.
For OESV operators, balancing the requirements of long-term crew transfer and logistical charters is not simply a matter of maintaining a fleet of highly capable vessels; it also depends heavily on the aptitude of skippers and crew, and the ability of shore-based teams to deliver exceptional management and maintenance support.
Seacat Services’ new headquarters have been designed to significantly increase the on-site storage and service options available to the business, including extensive equipment stores and workshop facilities for in-house repairs. These facilities will allow Seacat Services to rapidly mobilise major core components, including spare engines, which are held on-site.
These facilities are accompanied by an expanded suite of offices from which the Seacat Services onshore team can continue to deliver project management support via its proven integrated management system. The team itself has continued to expand in line with recent and upcoming activity and ahead of the launch of two new vessels, which will increase the fleet to 14.
“While it has, to all intents and purposes, been ‘business as usual’ at Seacat Services over the past few months, behind the scenes we have simultaneously been gearing up for what is likely to be the busiest period of offshore wind construction to date,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services.
“In practice, that means not only upgrading the ‘hardware’ that makes our logistical operations possible with our new facility, but also the ‘software’ in the form of talented personnel who will play a crucial role in driving operations forward over the coming years.”
“In doing so, we’re delighted to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to creating opportunities for the local community on the Isle of Wight. We are extremely grateful to the Solent LEP for the funding support that has helped us make this happen.”
February will see the official acceptance of game-changing first of class High Speed Utility Vessel (HSUV), Seacat Enterprise, into the Seacat Services fleet. The acceptance ceremony is to be preceded by an ‘open house’ week during which interested parties will be able to tour the new headquarters and view the vessel.