This Hull company has the most boats transporting workers to wind farms in the UK
The Rix Lion has been upgraded to meet growing demand in the sector
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Jun 2018
A Hull company has invested a six-figure sum as it aims to stay ahead of the game in the offshore wind sector.
After securing a contract working on Scotland's largest wind farm, Rix Sea Shuttle has upgraded one of its vessels to transport more workers to and from the offshore site.
The company, part of J.R. Rix & Sons, has upgraded its Rix Lion boat to meet demand from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm site near Wick, northern Scotland.
The move means the business now has the UK’s largest fleet of 24-passenger vessels working in the offshore industry today.
James Doyle, managing director of Rix Sea Shuttle, said: “When we reviewed our fleet mix, we evaluated all courses of action and decided that extending the Lion was the most cost-effective solution.
“It was certainly cheaper and quicker than commissioning a new 24-passenger ship and finding second hand boats of that size on the market is impossible.
“The work was carried out by Dunston (Ship Repairs) in Hull, who are reconfiguring the interior to covert the boat without compromising on the deck space or comfort of the crew.
“The ship has now been certified and has gone straight to work.”
All six vessels in the fleet are contracted to major wind farms in UK and European waters, and the company has chartered an extra two ships to fulfil the growing demands for crew transfer vessels.
As a result, Rix Sea Shuttle became one of the first operators to commission 24-capacity vessels, but still retained smaller ships to service the near-shore windfarms.
Mr Doyle said the extension work carried out on the Rix Lion was a move to ensure the company continued to achieve successes in the offshore industry.
He said: “When we started in this industry in 2012, our intention was to establish ourselves as a niche operator of the highest quality.
“By providing quality vessels and an excellent service, and by quickly adapting to changing market needs, such what we have done with the Rix Lion, I think we have achieved that.
“As the sector matures and the developed world relies more and more on wind power as a primary source of energy, we hope to have many further successes in the future.”
The upgraded Rix Lion has now travelled to Scotland to begin its work on the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm site. It has replaced the existing Rix Lynx vessel, which previously worked at the farm.
Managing director James Doyle said there had been a shift away from smaller ships in recent years, towards those that can carry more engineers and technicians.