Eneti In Talks to Build Jones Act-Compliant Wind Turbine Installation Vessel

Eneti Inc. is in advanced discussions with several American shipbuilders for the construction of a Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel.

This vessel would be constructed, financed, and operated by American citizens in compliance with the Jones Act, in order to address the heightened demand for transportation and installation capacity on the Continental Shelf of the United States, the company said.

”We are laying the groundwork for a Jones-Act compliant WTIV to address the American mandate for offshore wind development,” Emanuele A Lauro, Eneti’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.

”The growing calls for a safe, efficient, American-constructed and American-operated asset have been clear and loud. We are intent on providing a state-of-the-art solution to our customers so that they can comply with the Jones Act as they bring renewable energy to the U.S. consumer.”

The Jones Act is a century-old federal law requiring goods shipped between US ports to be transported on ships that are built in the US, mostly owned by US entities, and operated by US citizens or permanent residents.

The act prevents vessels built for the offshore wind industry outside of the US to operate on US wind farm projects unless they do so from non-US bases (such asĀ ports in Canada), or receive components and crew delivered by Jones Act compliant feeder vessels.

The US plans to go from today’s 42 MW of operating offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030.

The country has just approved its first large-scale offshore wind project – the 800 MW Vineyard Wind.

Currently, there is only one Jones Act-compliant WTIV under construction, ordered by Dominion Energy and expected to start operating in 2023.

Eneti’s Switch to Offshore Wind

Eneti, formerly Scorpio Bulkers, last year decided to exit the dry bulk shipping sector and focus fully on the offshore wind construction market.

The NYSE-listed company is in the process of selling its dry bulk fleet, and has just placed an order for its first WTIV at South Korea’s DSME.

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Scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2024, the WTIV will be capable of installing up to 20 MW turbines at depths of up to 65 metres of water, the company said.