The innovative, eight legged ‘walking’ jack-up barge WaveWalker 1 was recognised with The New Mechanical Product of the Year award at the 2013 British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs).
WaveWalker 1 was designed especially for marine operations in rough seas, surf zones, beaches and other intertidal locations where the operation of traditional SEWPs (self-elevating work platform – SEWP) is uneconomic. As well as operating safely whilst elevated, its bi-directional movement allows it to move and relocate without floating. Because the impact of sea conditions on operations is reduced, WaveWalker 1 can considerably boost productivity in tasks such as geotechnical site investigations, drilling, trenching, pipeline and cable-laying, blasting and other marine and underwater work.
Together Fugro Seacore and Van Oord provided their design and engineering expertise to create the jack-up barge which is owned and operated by WaveWalker BV, a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies.
Commenting on the award, the judges said, “When it came to New Product of the Year, the vast scale of the winning WaveWalker project was the first thing to impress the judges.”
The BEEAs were established in 2009 to demonstrate and promote the quality of engineering and design within the UK. The winners are determined by a panel of high quality, independent judges and companies from a cross section of electronic and engineering design disciplines.
In October 2013 WaveWalker 1 completed its first project, the drilling and rock blasting works in the outer channel to the port of Suape in Brazil. During the ten month offshore deployment the large swells and waves at the site did not impact on the WaveWalker’s ability to operate or walk from location to location, which is remarkable compared to standard jack-ups or barges that are required to float to relocate.
The WaveWalker is currently back in Europe preparing for its next exciting walking contract, of which more information will follow!