Sembcorp Marine will build the next-generation wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) ordered by Maersk Supply Service to ABS Class, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) said.
Two new feeder barges and two diesel-electric hybrid tugboat units will also be built to ABS Class by Kirby Offshore Wind (KOW), to supply the WTIV with towers and turbines for installation on Equinor and bp’s Empire Wind 1 and 2 wind farms off the coast of New York, USA.
”The new feeder solution equips Maersk Supply Service with a methodology that ensures a radically more efficient installation, which will in turn enable developers to release their supply chains more quickly and lead to faster revenue generation from their wind farms,” said Jonas Munch Agerskov, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Supply Service.
”All of this will contribute to bringing down the levelized costs of offshore wind. The solution is also less weather dependent, allowing installation all year round. The feeder methodology has been designed in-house and patented by Maersk Supply Service and is a real credit to the innovation and hard work of the teams involved.”
The jack-up is scheduled to be complete in 2025, with work on the Empire Wind project, and associated feeder barge services, expected to commence in late 2025 or early 2026.
”We have been carefully evaluating opportunities to enter the offshore wind industry for several years, and we are very pleased to partner with world-class operators such as Maersk, Equinor, and bp on a critical foundational project with a multi-year transportation agreement,” David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said.
”Kirby’s participation in this renewable energy space will not only grow Company earnings and returns, but will also greatly enhance our ESG product and service offerings in the coming years. These vessels will create new American jobs, both during the construction phase at two U.S. shipyards, as well as for U.S. mariners once operations commence.”
Empire Wind, for which Equinor acquired the lease in 2017 and is developing it in two phases, is located 15-30 miles (24-48 kilometres) southeast of Long Island, in water depths of 65-131 feet (20-40 metres).
The project’s two phases have a total installed capacity of more than 2 GW.
The 816 MW Empire Wind Phase 1 wind farm was selected in New York’s first-ever offshore wind solicitation in 2019 alongside Ørsted and Eversource Energy’s Sunrise Wind project.
At the beginning of last year, New York selected the joint venture as the winner of the state’s second offshore wind solicitation, in which the two partners participated with two projects: the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 and the 1,230 MW Beacon Wind 1.
”Maersk will use the Jones Act tugboats and feeder barges for transportation services for the offshore wind project components from South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to the Wind Installation Vessel for the Empire Wind project,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.
”With emissions in mind, it is great to see these global companies coming together to use the hybrid tugboats to support the continued build out to 30GWs and furthering the clean technology adoption in the U.S. Maritime sector. Moreover, this serves as an additional step in moving the offshore wind industry forward, with the development of the supply chain within the State of New York for the scale of these projects.”
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