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The ‘Windea Leibniz’ wind farm service vessel was delivered on-time from Ulstein Verft to Bernhard Schulte Offshore and ICBC Leasing on 28 February, and named at a ceremony in Ulsteinvik in March. The vessel will shortly commence service at the Sandbank wind farm for Siemens.

The lady sponsor, Dai Ling, named the second wind farm service vessel of the Hamburg based shipping company Bernhard Schulte and the Beijing based financial company ICBC Leasing. The vessel carries the name of the German mathematician, philosopher and physicist Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who in the 17th century proposed to use wind power to operate pumps.

The naming ceremony was held in Ulsteinvik, Norway, at the Ulstein Verft yard premises. The vessel has been designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions AS.

“Once again, Ulstein Verft proves the ability to deliver state-of-the-art vessels to the agreed time. We look forward to start work, and hear the feedback of her results when operating in the renewable market,” says Managing Director Kristian Sætre at Ulstein Verft.

Work scope

Starting from April, the vessel will work at the Sandbank wind farm in the German Bight for Siemens Wind Power Service to ensure the production of green energy from 72 wind turbines.

The usage of the so-called Service Operation Vessels (SOV) will improve the efficiency of service operations at offshore wind farms. The vessel functions as a reliable and environmentally sound platform for wind farm operations and maintenance support, technician accommodation and transport, and the provision of exceptional levels of safe and reliable access to offshore installations.


“The vessel has the X-STERN™ hull shape, which allows it to be positioned with the stern faced towards the weather instead of the bow only”, said Matthias Müller, Managing Director of Bernhard Schulte Offshore. He continued: “Her award-winning sister vessel ‘Windea La Cour’, which is working in the Dutch Gemini wind farm since August, has already proven that this leads to improved weather resilience, greater operability and reduced power and fuel consumption while on DP mode next to the wind turbine.”

Main particulars of the vessel:

Length 88 m, beam 18 m, speed 13.5 knots, accommodation for 60 people and equipped with a motion compensated gangway system (Uptime) to transfer technicians to the wind turbine.

Vessel type: Service Operation Vessel (SOV) for offshore wind turbines

Design type: ULSTEIN SX175

Deadweight: 3,150 t

Draught (max): 6.4 m

Cargo deck area: 380 m2

Dynamic positioning: IMO Class II (DYNPOS AUTR)

Main propulsion system: Two azimuth thrusters, each driven by a frequency controlled variable speed electric motor.

Additional thrusters: One retractable azimuth thruster, two side thrusters forward.


The ULSTEIN SX175 is a design developed to meet future demands within the servicing and maintenance of offshore wind installations. Significant effort has gone into the optimisation of the vessel’s movements to ensure the safe transfer of technicians and equipment in connection with the operations, maintenance and servicing of wind turbines. There has been a major focus on the welfare of the technicians who will live on board. While developing the cabins and facilities, the aim has been to position these where the vessel’s movements are lowest.

The X-BOW, the X-STERN and the integrated DC-based common main drive system, with variable rpm control of the diesel engines for power and propulsion system, are essential design features. In addition to the catalyst, these will fulfil the highest international environmental requirement (IMO-Tier3).

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