Lowestoft windfarm boat firm invests £4.2m in new vessels
08:00 21 May 2014
An offshore windfarm support firm which is in the process of moving its crew transfer services base from East Yorkshire to Lowestoft has invested £4.2m in two new vessels.
The first to arrive, the 21-metre 12 passenger Dalby Wharfe, is to be put to work alongside sister boat, Dalby Aire, which is already operating as a support vessel to the Greater Gabbard windfarm off the Suffolk coast.
The second, the 23m Dalby Swale, will be unveiled at the Seawork International boatshow in Southampton next month.
Both boats have been built by Alicat Workboats, in Southtown Road, Great Yarmouth; details of further vessels being built by Alicat and its sister company South Boats IOW for Dalby will be announced later in the year.
Steve Bartram, operations manager at Dalby, said: “I joined the company nine months ago to start our Lowestoft operation at the Orbis Renewables Centre.
“It is just myself at the moment but there are plans to move all crew transfer services from East Yorkshire down to Lowestoft.”
The company currently operates seven crew transfer vessels - each with six staff working on rotation - but future growth is likely to create extra jobs in Lowestoft.
Significantly, the firm sees windfarms off the East Anglian coast as the heart of its future growth plans.
Mr Bartram, former coxswain of Gorleston lifeboat, said: “We are delighted to accept the Dalby Wharfe from Alicat Workboats. We maintain an excellent working relationship with the yard and their personnel, which we believe contributes to the excellent quality and attention to detail we receive.
“All of our Alicat-built vessels are working, which is testament to the way they perform in the market.”
Steve Thacker, general manager, Alicat Workboats, said: “We have been committed to the growing demands of the offshore wind farm market and Dalby has played a significant part in the development of our
business with this delivery of their fifth Alicat. We are continuing to work with Dalby
ahead of the delivery of their sixth vessel next month.”
The latest acquisitions by Dalby follows the launch of four previous crew transfer vessels -
Dalby Humber, Dalby Trent, Dalby Tees and Dalby Aire - in the past 18 months.
Other vessels in Dalby’s diverse fleet include a large accommodation/cable laying boat,
ASV Pioneer, which has recently completed a successful contract supporting
the Costa Concordia salvage operation in Italy.