Steerprop delivers propulsion edge to Rem Energy

M/V Rem Energy is a champion for Green Transition: The Construction Service Operation Vessel (CSOV) performs demanding maintenance work at wind farms on the North Sea, using Steerprop’s contra-rotating propellers to achieve operational excellence.

The Norwegian marine sector player Rem Offshore has a long-term charter contract with the German company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the servicing of two windfarms – Global Tech 1 and Borkum West 1 – which are located roughly 200 miles from the German port of Bremerhaven.

Emil Ganchev became the captain of M/V Rem Energy in March 2023 – or rather, he is taking turns with another captain upon the seas. “We have a six-weeks-in, six-weeks-out rotation system,” he explains.

Captain and his crew – numbering 23-25 seasoned sailors – make regular rounds to the offshore wind farms, unloading provisions that make sure that the wind farms’ operation can proceed without a hitch. Working on the North Sea, often in rough weather, you need a tested “work horse” to get the job done.

M/V Rem Energy, which was developed in close cooperation with designer HAV Design AS and the client, has several inventive features which meet future requirements for zero emissions and optimal workflow. Built at the Norwegian shipyard Green Yard Kleven in 2021, the ship is a great example of the client, designer team and the yard working together for great results.

Propulsion performance to handle rough seas

This “green champion” is also equipped with environmentally friendly propulsion technology: Rem Energy features two 2,100 kW Steerprop contra-rotating propellers (CRP). The propellers feature push-pull configuration that is designed to meet the toughest conditions, while combining the excellent maneuverability of azimuth propulsors with the top efficiency of the CRP technology. Per vessel specifications, DP operation is listed at 6,9 m3 /d at position keeping.

Rem Energy features two 2,100 kW Steerprop contra-rotating propellers (CRP). Rem Energy Bridge Team

Captain Ganchev explains that thanks to the vessel’s propulsion system, Rem Energy is a good fit for demanding DP (Dynamic Positioning) operations. A dynamic positioning system automatically maintains a vessel’s position and heading, by using its own propellers and thrusters.

“The propulsion system is very reliable. Working together with the thrusters, position keeping with the ship is just perfect,” says the captain.

Ensuring the crucial maintenance of offshore wind farms in the North Sea, one certainly needs that dynamic positioning edge to win the day. Steerprop contra-rotating propellers can deliver this in spades:

“Obviously, we have to move with great precision around the wind farms. With our system, we can work in any direction, which is a great enabler in our line of work,” he says.

Great user experience makes a difference

Captain Ganchev has been sailing the seas since 2003, having been in the service of the offshore industry since 2009. Chief Engineer of Rem Energy, Iliyan Trayanov, has been on the seas even longer, having started his career back in 1990. They both agree that in addition to great performance and reliability, the Steerprop CRP propulsion system is also pretty handy to use.

“The Steerprop system is very user-friendly, we’ve had no problems operating it,” say the men in unison.

Maintenance of the propulsion system is also quite straightforward and hassle-free. “We have scheduled maintenance upon dry docking. When we are at sea, there is also Remote Assistance available from Steerprop if there are any problems,” says the captain, adding that they haven’t needed it yet.

In addition to Rem Energy using Steerprop technology, company’s vessels Rem Mistral, Rem Art, Rem Star, Rem Arctic, Rem Insula and Rem Cetus are all equipped with the same system.

Future-proof and ready for green hydrogen

The sustainable angle is important for Rem Offshore and Siemens Gamesa alike. Upon announcing the contract, Fredrik Remøy, the former CEO of Rem Offshore, said that the company wants to continue supporting Siemens Gamesa in their quest for optimal solutions for the offshore wind industry, noting that Rem Offshore has dedicated “large resources for growth in renewables”.

Wholly in tune with this, Rem Energy stands ready to meet the future demands for zero emissions: it is capable of operating by using a battery and fuel cell system, powered by green hydrogen.

“The vessel has that capability built-in, but it is not in use as of yet,” says Ganchev. In fact, Rem Energy is the first hydrogen battery-ready vessel utilized by Siemens Gamesa.