The port of Eemshaven, on the mouth of the Eems River estuary. This area has a huge potential for development and the jack up barge WaveWalker 1 is making this development possible.
To be able to run the Gemini offshore wind park facility two Gemini export cables have to be run under two existing submarine cables.
Due to strong currents and very shallow water depths at this location a very special vessel would be required to carry out the horizontal drilling operations for the two ducts separated by 25 metres. The WaveWalker 1 is the ultimate ‘walk to work’ vessel and is fitted with 8 jack-up legs for this purpose. ‘Walking’ is made possible with a 2-phase jacking and skidding sequence. Dependant on weather and seabed conditions the vessel can reach a possible speed of 40 metres per hour.
For the current operation at Gemini the moon pool has been covered over and a unit has been installed for the horizontal drilling operation and the deck space is filled with all the associated equipment. The drilling operation is managed by one man and a remote control unit because everything has been made mechanical. This operation will be completed during spring 2015 with the exact timing dependent upon the weather conditions.
The WaveWalker 1 is a versatile and unique vessel for work in conditions where other vessels would have great difficulty. This is a simple statement that covers a wide range of activities, conditions and properties, one of which is ‘walking to work’.