October 29, 2012
RIX Sea Shuttle, part of J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd, launched its first vessel on Friday, specifically commissioned to serve the offshore wind farm sector.
The Rix Panther was launched in a ceremony at Meridan Quay, Grimsby Fish Dock today (Friday, October 26th).
It is the first of five boats commissioned by Rix Sea Shuttle which will be used to transport maintenance engineers to and from offshore wind turbines in the North Sea.
Each of the aluminium vessels will be crewed and operated by Rix, can carry up to 12 technicians and are capable of reaching speeds of up to25knots.
The remainder of the boats are due to be delivered in 2013 and 2014.
The vessels and the launch of the sea shuttle business mark a £7.5m investment by the Hull company in the UK’s burgeoning renewable industry.
James Doyle, director of Rix Shipping, said it was a “fantastic moment” to see the first of the five boats finally in the water.
He said: “We have been working on sea shuttles project for a number of years now because we believe it is a growth area, so today is the cumulation of a great deal of planning and effort by a number of key individuals in the company who are all very proud to see the finished vessel.
“We are already in advanced discussions regarding the commissioning of this boat and the others that are due to be completed soon with some of the wind farms sector’s biggest players, and securing those contracts could well lead to further investment in the renewables sector.”
Currently there are around 150 vessels in use suitable for servicing offshore wind farms with up to 700 needed as the industry grows in the next few years.
As well as targeting wind farms off the East Coast of Yorkshire such as that currently being considered at Doggerbank, Rix Sea Shuttle is also seeking opportunities further afield, encompassing most of the upcoming offshore wind farms around the UK coastline.