Japanese shipping major NYK and Van Oord have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly own and operate offshore wind installation vessels under the Japanese flag.
The partners aim to start operating a jack-up vessel in Japan by 2022 at the earliest.
The vessel will have a crane capacity of more than 1,000mt and will be suitable to install the latest generation of wind turbines, NYK said.
In addition to the collaboration on offshore installation vessels, NYK and Van Oord are also exploring opportunities to collaborate on other types of vessels required for the construction and operation of offshore wind farms, NYK said.
The MoU is NYK’s entry into the offshore wind sector. It is a response to the growing offshore wind market in Japan spurred by a new law that came into force in April 2019 which aims to facilitate the development of offshore wind projects in Japan.
As a result, demand within the offshore wind market is expected to increase, NYK said. Challenges for the development of offshore wind in Japan include the lack of resources such as experienced workforce and specialised equipment required for the installation of the large foundations and turbines for offshore wind farms. By joining forces, NYK and Van Oord intend to meet these challenges and contribute to the development of offshore wind as a sustainable energy source for Japanese society.
The NYK Group operates more than 700 vessels, both internationally and locally. The group has experience in reflagging vessels to and operating vessels under the Japanese flag, which is a requirement for offshore wind contractors when working in Japanese territorial waters.