Norwind Offshore, a Norwegian start-up in the offshore wind service sector, is to have a package of Inmarsat communication systems installed on board its first three ships. The first vessel, a former platform supply ship undergoing conversion to a service operation vessel (SOV), is to be equipped before its May delivery. A letter of intent covers two new SOVs, currently under construction.
The three ships will have Inmarsat’s Fleet LTE, a setup that enables automatic switching from 4G offshore fibre networks to the Fleet Xpress Ka-band service when operating beyond LTE coverage. The service also includes access to FleetBroadband’s L-band network for back-up. For digital systems on board, the vessels will have Fleet Data and Fleet Connect, and Fleet Hotspot for crews.
Commenting on the communications setup, Norwind Offshore COO, Roy Ove Standal, said: “We see Inmarsat as the ideal partner for the offshore wind sector. Thanks to our agreement, we now have a clear path to digitalisation which works towards our safety, operational efficiency, sustainability, and crew welfare objectives from day one. Fleet LTE allows us to tap into available 4G infrastructure when such technology is available at the wind parks, thereby minimising the gap between the internet services that can be enjoyed ashore.”
The Ålesund-based company, established last year by long-time Norwegian offshore companies Farstad, Volstad, and Kleven, is working closely with Vard, which is undertaking the platform supply ship conversion. The shipbuilder is also building the two SOVs, and Norwind holds an option for two further ships.
Offshore wind firm opts for Inmarsat communications