Turner Iceni – Driven by the Wind

Established twelve years ago to help build wind farms, Turner Iceni, the renewable energy vessel specialist, is set to further improve its green credentials.

Lowestoft-based Turner Iceni, part of the privately owned and funded Turner Group of Companies headquartered in Glasgow, operates as a provider of managed work-packages into wind sector projects. As a joint force of two established wind sector companies, Turner Wind Services and Iceni Marine Services, Turner Iceni this year celebrates its 12th anniversary of delivering services to the on and offshore wind markets.

Starting the business with a partner from scratch, Director Richard Thurlow affirms that the initial idea of utilising new opportunities in the-then emerging offshore wind farm sector has proved to work astonishingly well – the business today runs multiple vessels and employs 80 people across various sites.

He explained that the company’s business growth was boosted by the partnership with Turner Wind Services that also secured much-needed funds to expand the assets. “We are now a well-established business, proud of the excellent level of services we provide. Doing a good job is something that we were committed to from the very beginning, and we make sure that this attitude is shared by our strong pool of professionals.”

Green performance

The company has been involved in every stage of the wind farm life cycle, from supporting survey and planning work in the early stages to assisting asset owners, Tier1 suppliers and OEM customers with re-powering, certification and life extension decisions. The service portfolio includes providing O&M turbine services, asset management, including condition monitoring and inspection works, as well as other associated services.

Turner Iceni also owns and operates an industry-leading fleet of 11 crew transfer vessels (CTV), whose design incorporates the company’s vast marine and offshore transfer knowledge. They provide valuable logistical support in the toughest of weather conditions.

“Sites operated by us benefit from increased performance, with availability ranging from 99% to 100%, and have a reduced year-round weather downtime. The proven design of our industry-leading vessels has facilitated many successful and safe transfers to offshore wind farms across the UK,” says Richard Thurlow.

He explains that the company is particularly proud of its three recent projects for CTV conversions that have extended the life of the vessels and brought them up to match modern standards. “All three vessels, Iceni Revenge, Iceni Warrior and Iceni Courage had million-pound refits done by Diverse Marine under a contract for their modification and upcycling. The conversions highlight the fact that vessels that are considered to have run their course can be upcycled and running again, providing an excellent, reliable service.”

Turner Iceni’s fleet will soon be expanded by a new build, Iceni Valour, that will service the Gwynt Y Môr offshore wind farm when it enters service next year. The 24-metre CTV is currently under construction at Diverse Marine Ltd’s yard on the Isle of Wight. The vessel is to be powered by MANV12-1400 main engines coupled to ZF gears and Hamilton HM651 waterjets complete with an AVX control system, featuring a JetAnchor GPS positioning system.

The Iceni Valour has been designed keel-up by Walker Marine Design of Southampton to meet the specific requirements of Turner Iceni and Gwynt Y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Ltd., in the Irish Sea, who have the vessel under long-term charter from next year. “Iceni Valour, the brand-new vessel worth 3 million-pound investment, is being built in the UK, by a UK company for a UK project and this is something we are proud of. She will be serving under a 10-year charter, which is unprecedented in the industry,” says Mr Thurlow.

He reflects that since the beginning, the company has invested over 30 million pounds in its assets. “With the increasing focus on green energy, hybrid technology will be the next big thing. We are now working with key suppliers to provide the right solutions and the next round of CTVs will be hybrid-powered vessels, supported by the right infrastructure. We have a responsibility to invest in these technologies,” he says, pointing out that hybrid CTVs with their reduced emissions, significant fuel savings and boosted battery performance represent the sustainable green technology of the future.

Reliable and safe

Modern vessels aside, Turner Iceni’s key asset are its people. The company has an extensive pool of highly trained, authorised and experienced personnel, supplied as individuals on demand, as long-term project solutions or as bespoke teams for specialist work. Working on the front line enables Turner Iceni to assist customers in developing additional services to help them improve their asset performance.

“We take great pride in our people and we have internal models in place to provide them with appropriate training and development to complement their experience, abilities and skills,” says Mr Thurlow, praising the commitment and hard work of the employees, both crews and office staff, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Summarising the business’s development, Mr Thurlow admits that it has been an incredible journey: “We have come a long way from an idea formulated at a kitchen table. We have grown into an innovative, progressive company and a trusted partner for work both onshore and offshore and are growing still. What we have achieved in a relatively short time is both exciting and rewarding.”

In the future, the company will strive to use its experience and in-depth understanding of the wind sector, together with its ability to deliver relevant solutions with suitably qualified personnel, to continue to provide its clients with a safe and suitable service every time, as required.

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