Van Oord has ordered a new self-elevating offshore installation vessel that will be able to operate on methanol and install wind turbines with a capacity of up to 20 MW.
The vessel is being built by the Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China. The design is by Knud E Hansen.
The jack-up is expected to enter the market in 2024 and will work under the Dutch flag. Van Oord has also taken an option on a second vessel.
Pieter van Oord, CEO Van Oord, said: ”This investment prepares us for the increase in scale in the offshore wind industry and allows us to maintain our leadership position.”
The new 175-metre offshore installation vessel will be purpose-built for the transport and installation of foundations and wind turbines. With a crane supplied by the Dutch company Huisman, the jack-up will be able to lift more than 3,000 tonnes.
The vessel will also feature an advanced jacking system. Four giant legs, each measuring 126 metres, will allow the ship to be jacked up and work in waters up to 70 metres deep.
Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Offshore Wind of Van Oord: ”Thanks to our experiences with the installation vessels Aeolus, MPI Resolution and MPI Adventure, we have a good grasp of working with jack-up installation vessels. Now we are going one step further – the new ship will be the largest of its kind. Compared to the Aeolus, this new version has 88% more deck space and over 80% more lifting capacity.”
By running on methanol, the vessel’s CO2 footprint will be reduced by more than 78 per cent, Van Oord said. In addition, the jack-up will be equipped with an advanced active emissions control technology, Selective Catalytic Reduction, to reduce the NOx emission to an absolute minimum. An installed 5,000 kWh battery pack will take the peak loads and regenerate energy to reduce the fuel consumption, and corresponding emissions, even further.
This investment is part of the company’s EUR 1 billion fleet investment programme over the next five years. In December 2020, Van Oord had already ordered a new green cable-laying vessel at VARD in Norway.
Van Oord said that the company is committed to reducing CO2 emissions and to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
”To become carbon neutral by 2050, we look for new fuel technologies. We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact. Similar steps have already been made in our investment programme with the construction of three LNG-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredgers and the ordering of a new green cable-laying vessel,” Jaap de Jong, Director Ship Management of Van Oord, said.
Since 2002, Van Oord has contributed to the installation of a cumulative renewable energy capacity of 14.5 GW. That represents 40 per cent of the total installed capacity of approximately 35 GW of offshore wind worldwide at the end of 2020.
The demand for offshore wind farms remains high, Van Oord said. The European Union aims to install 300 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, and worldwide this is expected to be 2,000 GW. In the Netherlands, the goal is to realise 20 GW up to 2030 and another 20 GW in the next decade.
Wind turbines at sea are also rapidly getting bigger. In 2002 there were wind turbines of 2 MW, nowadays turbines of 14 MW are installed. The rotor blades are already well over a hundred metres long and the transport and installation requires larger ships.