The Sea Installer is currently installing Rentels 7MW wind turbines offshore. We are nearly halfway through the installation process, time to learn a bit more about the offshore life. Stéphanie Rits, Rentels risk and interface manager joins the Sea Installer for regular inspections. She serves as our eyes and ears offshore, and happily shares her experiences with us.
What is your job on board?
“On board I’m a client representative. I follow the works on behalf of Rentel as project owner. My presence is required to keep an eye on the works. I need to check if everything takes place as determined in the method statements. In addition, I write the daily reports. When at the office, my main tasks involve managing the interfaces between the foundations and the wind turbines. This background serves well when being offshore, since I’m aware of all the technical details."
What’s the atmosphere like on an installation mission?
“There is this thing we like to call having an offshore mentality. Even when there are some small discussions, we always find ourselves having quite some respect for each other and taking care of everyone on board. We are all in it together, away from home and kind off stuck on that vessel. If we don’t all have that offshore mentality, we won’t last long.”
You’re all in it together. How many of you are there, anyway?
“An average of 60 members join the mission. That sounds like a lot but it makes sense when you know there are 3 different companies at work on the vessel. Rentel as project owner. DEME, the company providing the vessel has a few employees on board to operate the jack-up installation vessel. Siemens workers join the mission to install the turbines. All contractors work together on great terms.”
What kind of challenges come with working on a vessel?
“Apart from the safety regulations you need to be aware of, being present on the job 24/7 is a rather special experience. You live together with both colleagues and contractors, which can be challenging from time to time. On the other hand, as a client representative I’m the eyes and ears of Rentel offshore. I need to keep solid relations with the contractors, so that’s where living with them comes in handy."
You are nearly halfway installing 42 giant wind turbines. When will the offshore installation be completed?
“We are aiming for august. But like the weather in the North Sea, that prediction is still a little foggy… (Laughs)”