U.S. companies MiNO Marine and 2nd Wind Marine are planning to start building two offshore wind construction support vessels in early 2021.
They recently engaged U.S. shipyards, which are now evaluating the vessel design and preparing estimations on construction costs and building timeline.
The Jones Act compliant vessels, called SuperFeeders, are DP2 purpose-built jack-ups that will transport wind turbine components from U.S. ports to installation vessels at offshore wind construction sites. This will enable the most effective utilisation of non-Jones Act compliant installation vessels, according to a joint press release from MiNO Marine and 2nd Wind Marine from 15 June.
The vessels will be powered primarily by diesel-electric engines, propelled by three 2,500 kW Z-Drives and two 1,200 kW tunnel bow-thrusters.
The house is offset asymmetrically to the port side, to allow more bow deck space for larger, vertically stacked blades.
The SuperFeeders will each be able to accommodate up to 60 people on board.
The cargo deck, rated to transport and jack up with 4,000 tonnes, has a double deck and is intended to carry a full set of wind turbine components, including tower, nacelle and blades.
The SuperFreeders will be outfitted with a Liebherr crane.
The vessels are planned to be used both for turbine components transport from marshalling ports to installation vessels on site and for specific operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks on operational offshore wind farms.