British firm wins grant to improve crew-transfer vessel design

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Britain's Manor Renewable Energy has been awarded a £50,000 ($US69,500) SCORE grant to update the design of its next crew-transfer vessel for the offshore wind industry.

The funds will enable research to be carried out on improvements for the £4 million sister vessel to its one-year-old Manor Venture, currently working for Siemens on the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm.

Designed by Walker Marine Design, the 26-metre by 11.2-metre vessel has large "ship style" cabins, office space for clients and mess rooms for technicians and engineers.

It is capable of transferring 45 tonnes of deck cargo and 60,000 litres of fuel.

Its maiden contract supports Siemens' work on the wind farm, including refuelling and maintenance of the generators on the 56 turbines.

The project will help fund research with wind farm operators and developers to find out what features, design and capability a second vessel would need to save time and costs. This may include minimising transfer times in and out to sea and reducing the number of times personnel have to climb the towers.

The SCORE program is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is open to companies with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than €50 million.

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