Following a truly innovative conversion from a humble short sea trading container ship to a ro-ro vessel, the Rotra Vente has caught the eye of many in the European ship building industry. Rotra Vente is the first of two innovative vessels that are specifically designed for ease of shipping wind turbine parts such as masts, nacelles (engine rooms) and rotor blades. The base was an existing container ship’s hull, which was converted into a special service heavy cargo vessel with ramp. The conversion of the original vessel includes the incorporation of a movable bow and extendable ramp, allowing for unhindered ro-ro operations access.
Built by Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries, Nantong, PRC
Converted by Holland Shipyards
Owned by Amasus Shipping BV
Operated by Siemens Wind Power GmbH & Deugro Danmark A/s
GRT 6,564 tons
DWT 8,929 MT
Propulsion: Wartsila 8L38C with 5,400kW output to a CP propellor
Service speed 15 knots
Crew capacity 11
Original name: Flintercoral
Rotra Vente is the first of two ro-ro vessels designed by the Concordia Group in The Netherlands and converted by Holland Shipyards for Germany’s Siemens Group. For Siemens, the charterer of the vessel, and means of loading and unloading, allows for a highly cost effective operation contributing to the aim of cutting the logistical costs of generating offshore wind power. Rotra Vente was installed with new rudder and propeller systems at Shipyard de Schroef in Sas van Gent before being outfitted at Holland Shipyards with the design and conversion taking 10 months to complete ahead of eventual delivery in December 2016. Now formally classified as a new vessel, she is now trading between Siemens’ new manufacturing plant in Cuxhaven, Germany, and installation sites in the North and Baltic Seas. A second vessel, Rotra Mare (above right) also recently entered service.
Siemens launched its new offshore logistics concept at European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) conference in 2015 and signed a long-term framework contract with Danish freight forwarding company Deugro in November 2015 for the shipping of large wind farm components using the two new vessels. Rotra Vente is anticipated to reduce logistics costs by 15-20% when compared with the existing transport modes. The bow and extendable ramp are moved hydraulically to enable the movement of large loads to and from the main cargo deck while the large bow door allows easy vehicle access the restructured cargo deck. The deck itself is protected by a telescoping collapsible roof to safeguard turbine components during sea passages The flexible layout of the deck supports the carriage of up to nine wind tower sections or up to four rotor blade sets per trip. The ship also features a fully automatic ballast and de-ballast system to compensate for the transversal unequal dispersion of load. She was proposed as a candidate for the Nor-Shipping Energy Efficiency Award 2017.
Of interest, Siemens generated revenues of Euro 79.6 billion in 2016 with a net revenue of Euro 5.6 billion. The company has 351,000 employees distributed across the globe.
Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.