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Belgium-based dredging and marine engineering specialist DEME Offshore’s DP2 jack-up installation vessel Sea Installer will get a major crane upgrade when the capacity is increased from 900 tonnes to 1,600 tonnes. Being built by leading crane manufacturer Huisman, the new crane will enable the vessel to handle the next generation of offshore wind turbines.

The upgraded Sea Installer will be deployed for the first time at the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 project, one of the first large-scale wind farms in the US. Vineyard Wind 1 will feature 62 GE Haliade-X offshore turbines. These giants have a 220m rotor, 107m blades and will be 248m high.

Marro Vreys, Business Unit Director Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) at DEME Offshore said, “Yet again, DEME is taking the lead and supporting the development of the offshore wind industry just as it has been doing for the last 20 years. We are willing to make the necessary investment in new technology to make sure that our fleet is ready for the future. This allows us to maintain our position as the industry leader in WTG installation and also to assist the offshore wind sector as it looks to take the next step, deploying even more powerful turbines.”

To prepare for the future, DEME embarked on a multi-year fleet investment programme. In order to remain a leader in turbine installation, DEME also secured an option to upgrade the crane on jack-up installation vessel Sea Challenger.

Sea installer is currently deployed at the Hornsea Two offshore wind farm in the UK. Vineyard Wind 1 will be the company’s first offshore wind project in the US.