US Company Reveals Jones Act-Compliant Offshore Wind Farm Installation Solution

US-based Bleutec Industries has announced what the company says is a transformative offshore wind transportation and installation vessel solution that also integrates capabilities to perform commissioning, operations and maintenance (O&M), and decommissioning activities.

Developed by Bleutec Industries in cooperation with NETSCo Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering and the Netherlands-based Penthus, the proprietary Binary Marine Installation Solution (BMIS) is a Jones Act-compliant concept that was introduced by the companies in response to the shortage of capable wind turbine installation vessels (WTIV) and high-cost newbuilds.

The BMIS consists of two construction vessels – one for foundation installation and one for wind turbine installation, with the latter also capable of being used for commissioning and O&M since it is coupled with accommodations and marine support from a field service operations vessel (SOV).

Source: Bleutec Industries

Bleutec Industries said that the current WTIVs are often either unavailable or inadequate for the size increase in both piling foundations and wind turbines.

“The US offshore wind industry has been paralyzed by the perceived notion that a WTIV has to be constructed in a certain way and that is not feasible. NETSCo Engineers have been devoted to designing a bespoke WTIV, focusing on the design parameters that matter most and eliminating the nice to haves”, said Jan Flores, NETSCo Principal.

The foundation installation jack-up vessel, or the Piling Installation Vessel (PIV), with a dual-crane setup is expected to enter the market in the third quarter of 2024, while the light jack-up vessel for the installation of wind turbines (WTIV-Light) will be available in the same quarter of 2025, according to Bleutec Industries.

Source: Bleutec Industries

The developers said that the integrated offering will provide the following advantages to developers and the market: cost-effective US Jones Act-compliant vessels; simplified, simultaneous, and multi-purpose operations; safer, more deck space for construction operations and less critical specialised crews; and the vessels will incorporate technologies to enable decarbonization and increased automation.

Launched in 2019, Bleutec Industries is engaged with several key stakeholders that have a proven track record in the offshore wind industry such as ABS and Lloyd’s Register, Kongsberg Maritime, Liebherr, Wärtsilä, and the US Coast Guard.

“Our goal is to provide the most cost-effective offshore wind T&I solution that integrates commissioning, operations and maintenance activities and maximizes local content”, said Robin Bodtmann, CEO of Bleutec Industries.

The company has also hired a former global category manager marine from Shell, Bo Jardine, who will act as chief innovation officer and lead the development of the BMIS and work with classification societies such as ABS, Lloyd’s, DNV, and the US Coast Guard.

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Photo: Bleutec Industries