The innovative large walking jack-up barge, WaveWalker 1, was named at the Neptune Shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands on 21 September 2012. The naming ceremony was performed by Sonja Jonkman, wife of André Jonkman, Chief Financial Officer & Member of the Board of Management of Fugro NV.
The WaveWalker 1 is being developed by Fugro and Van Oord to move and operate offshore, in surf zones and other intertidal locations. On 4 April 2012 the keel was laid and the jack-up will be operational end 2012 on drilling and blasting works for the Brazilian Suape Outer Channel, a contract awarded to Van Oord.
The platform can be operated in conventional 4-legged mode, or as an 8-legged self-contained walking jack-up platform, capable of safely operating and bi-directional movement whilst elevated. Undertaking geotechnical site investigations, drilling and other underwater activity from a stable platform with the added benefit of relocation without floating will reduce the impact of sea conditions on the operational hours in harsh coastal zones.
WaveWalker 1 uses four of its eight side mounted jacking legs which can be conventionally raised or lowered, allowing the platform to jack-up and down. Its other four raised legs are moved in the required direction by sliding them alongside the barge in the required direction of travel. The two diagonal pairs are then lowered and pre-loaded to ensure continued stability. The other four ‘standing’ legs are then retracted and the entire platform, supported on its newly preloaded legs, slides forward through the side frames. The raised legs are then jacked down again, preloaded to re-take the weight, in order for the walking cycle to be repeated.
World Maritime News Staff, September 24, 2012