07 December 2016

James Fisher delivers world-first with oil exchange for Senvion

James Fisher Marine Services excels once again by delivering the first ever offshore oil exchange in Belgian waters.

James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS), the world-leading marine services division of James Fisher and Sons plc, and its partner, Oil Management and Services GmbH (OMS), have recently delivered the first ever offshore oil exchange on wind turbines in Belgian waters at the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm for Senvion - one of the leading manufacturers of onshore and offshore wind turbines.

The operation involved the removal and disposal of oil from three of Senvion’s wind turbines with JFMS’s innovative Ship-to-Turbine™ oil exchange system which utilises a proven vacuum preheating and filtration technology, ensuring the delivery of clean product to DIN ISO 4406:99 standards, eliminating the need to fill and hoist oil containers via the nacelle crane. The project was supported by Bruno Martinsen, owner of OMS, who has significant experience and expertise in oil management services.

By using STT™, the project not only succeeded in improving technician utilisation, it reduced turbine downtime and, thanks to the zero break hose, resulted in no spills or contamination to the surrounding ocean. It was also the first time an operation of its kind had taken place in Belgium, due to the highly controlled and regulated contamination laws in the area

Pieter Dumoulin, site manager at Senvion’s Thornton Bank offshore wind farm, said of the operation:

“We have been extremely impressed with the team’s ingenuity on this project. STT has changed the way we manage our oil exchange process. We place a lot of emphasis on protecting the environment and JFMS’s solution along with OMS’s management not only vastly reduced the risk of contamination, it also met our strict environmental standards.”

Following in depth discussions with JFMS and OMS project managers about how they could make the process more efficient, it was agreed that Senvion would trial the innovative Ship-to-Turbine™ (STT)™ solution.

STT™, a purpose built oil transfer system available solely through JFMS and OMS, significantly improves operational efficiency, safety and productivity by using a fully enclosed, self-contained deck mounted unit with vacuum and filtration technology to transfer the oil. By using umbilical, non-leak, hoses the system can ensure contaminants are safely contained, removing the environmental threats often associated with manual methods.

Martin Sisley, managing director of renewables at JFMS, said of the finished project:

“Environmental containment was the main issue, especially as we were working in Belgian waters with its very strict environmental laws, and we are very pleased that the project was completed with zero contaminants or spills.”“This is a world’s first for offshore turbine maintenance in Belgium, and JFMS is at the forefront of technology in this area, with all the skills and equipment in-house. We are expecting a rise in demand over the next 12 months as the system’s benefits are ahead of anything else on the market.” Sisley concluded.