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CTV operators driving transparent approach to offshore wind operations

CTV operators are using data to monitor operations

Leading CTV operators are driving for more transparency around vessel performance as the market seeks to ‘level the playing field’ in offshore wind support. While historically project owners have led demands for greater transparency around operational and performance data, a number of CTV vessel operators have identified a clear market opportunity in being ahead of the curve. 

That is, at least, according to Reygar, a leading provider of innovative remote monitoring and reporting platforms to the marine industry, whose BareFLEET system continues to be rolled out by many offshore wind CTV operators. 

The drive for transparency has been a long time in the making, coming in response to rising demand from offshore wind project owners for CTV operational and performance data. This data, which includes motion, engine performance, weather conditions and fuel consumption, has a strong influence on procurement decisions as owners look to increase “time on turbine” for their technicians, as well as the overall safety and cost-efficiency of their projects. 

To date however, supplying this data has been seen as a ‘check-box’ requirement. Initiatives such as ‘p-plot’, supported by wind farm owners, have provided a strong model for increasing clarity by looking to formulate a standard to measure the relative operational performance of CTV’s in different sea states. However, this top-down approach to shared data has received a mixed reception from vessel operators, given the perceived commercial risk of opening their data to the market and the cost of gathering and processing the necessary operational data.

In contrast, leading operators including Seacat Services, CWind, Tidal Transit, High Speed Transfers, and Maritime Craft Services have found that taking data monitoring into their own hands through the installation of the BareFLEET system is an opportunity for commercial development, rather than a hurdle. 

“We’ve seen the wide-ranging benefits that the digitalisation of operations has had for turbine owners and operators. Rather than waiting for standards to be imposed, it’s time for vessel operators to be proactive in showing their commitment to performance and operational transparency,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director of Seacat Services.

Leo Hambro, Commercial Director of Tidal Transit Ltd, said: “There are clear benefits to using data monitoring systems for both CTV operators and site owners. We hope to see the industry moving towards a point where operators work alongside offshore wind farm owners to share the responsibility and cost of data collection for fleets”.

Menno Kuyt, Managing Director of Maritime Craft Services, added: “The BareFLEET system ensures transparency of information between operators and offshore wind owners, and forms part of our commitment to meet and exceed the standards expected of us. 

We would welcome other operators installing this system to contribute to a bank of comparative data that ensures both accurate vessel marketing and benchmarks performance standards for vessels across the industry.”

“I want to see a black line on a chart that shows performance averages for vessels in different conditions and know whether my vessel is performing above or below the standard,” Hambro, of Tidal Transit, continued. “This will create a yardstick by which to incentivize improvements within businesses and across the industry as whole – whether it’s for vessel design or crew training.”   

Critically, CTV operators have also highlighted that achieving this transparency is not coming at a high commercial or financial cost. The adoption of the BareFLEET vessel monitoring system – a cost effective, cloud-based platform that integrates with existing equipment and sensors - is creating substantial efficiencies for their businesses and setting them apart in the market.

Tom Nevin, Managing Director of High Speed Transfers said: “BareFLEET provides a tool for continual improvement that we can tailor to the focuses of each offshore wind client. A customer of ours is particularly interested in the effect of weather conditions on crew transfers, and Reygar has adapted the platform to bring motion measurement front and centre for our daily reports.” 

“By comparing this data with engine health and fuel consumption we are able to see where we can save by increasing fuel efficiency under specific conditions. The data also gives the master more confidence in the vessel. We can see how hard the engine was working in specific conditions, and this feeds into guidelines for how they can expect the vessels across our fleet to behave in future.”

By adopting advanced monitoring systems such as BareFLEET, operators are able to understand the performance of their vessels in different weather conditions and under different crews. Whilst in the short-term, taking the opportunity to drive commercial improvements through increased understanding of vessel performance will set businesses apart, in the long term the sharing of this data will ensure that a level playing field is brought about for the industry as a whole.

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