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Essential vessel repowered in lockdown

Although designed and purpose-built for the offshore wind industry, recent demands for a larger crew transfer and more efficient travel have precipitated an urgent major upgrade of the 26m M/V Traveller.

Lengthened, modernized and now repowered by Volvo Penta’s Inboard Propulsion System (IPS) with a new control system, the Northern Offshore Services (NOS) vessel is already back at work.

The physical upgrade took place in Grovfjord Mek Verksted AS, Norway. However, with travel bans into Norway, the Volvo Penta team had no choice but to support the launch remotely.

“There was no option to postpone the launch,” explains David Kristensson, CEO at NOS. “This vessel was needed. The world may be on lockdown but offshore windfarms provide essential services to many people so we had to keep working.”

Due to travel restrictions into Norway, the Volvo Penta team could not get to Grovfjord Mek Verksted AS shipyard to do the physical installation and launch. However, Richard Johansson, Sales & Application Manager, Marine Nordic and his team – with the help of Norwegian VPS, Harstad Marina AS – succeeded in setting up the new system remotely from Gothenburg.

“In these challenging times we all have to adapt and find new creative and collaborative ways of working. It was complicated but there was no other way during the lockdown,” explains David. “And although there were a few delays she is now up and running and has gone straight to work off the Dutch coast.”

“It will always be better and easier to do these launches in person. However, during these times of lockdown it is one way of getting around travel restrictions and keeping businesses up and running,” says Richard.

The M/V Traveller has been fitted with a QUAD installation – four Volvo Penta IPS 900 Q2 props – and a new control system. Individually steerable Volvo Penta IPS drives are linked to the onboard Joystick Docking function. The joystick makes docking at the offshore wind farm turbines – which is one of the hardest manoeuvres – easier and safer in rough seas.

Richard and his Volvo Penta team are currently completing another remote launch for NOS.

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