RWE, Acta Marine Team Up to Build ‘Green’ SOVs
German offshore wind developer RWE and maritime support provider Acta Marine have signed a long-term vessel supply agreement which they say will pave the way for the decarbonisation of offshore wind farm operations.
According to the companies, the agreement is to build and operate two ‘green’ service operation vessels (SOVs), which will be among the first in the world to be built with the capability of being powered by methanol and batteries, with the potential to save up to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
Acta Marine will begin constructing the vessels at Tersan Shipyard in Turkey during the second quarter of 2023 and they are expected to begin operation from the Grimsby Port in early 2025 and 2026, respectively.
Both vessels will be methanol ready from day one, said the partners, and will support the day-to-day operations and maintenance of two of RWE’s largest offshore wind projects, the newly operational 857 MW Triton Knoll and the 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm which is now under construction in the UK.
“We are very pleased to partner with RWE in deploying two of our new SOVs over a 12 year basis. The ability to use e-methanol from day one of our operations with RWE drives the reduction of greenhouse gases significantly. The vessels have been designed for high performance in-field agility whilst reducing power consumption as much as possible”, said Rob Boer, Acta’s Managing Director.
The SOVs will be based out of RWE’s Grimsby Hub and support the long-term operations of the offshore assets. The agreement will bring further investment into the port through the use of vessel support and maintenance services, local fuelling, pilotage, and other ancillary services, said the partners.
“We are proud to take this step forward for our North Sea operations and anticipate this being the first of similar investments in support of our other offshore projects”, said Thomas Michel, Director of Offshore Wind Operations at RWE Renewables.
The SX216 newbuild vessels designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions feature the Twin X-Stern which is said to improve fuel efficiency, increase dynamic positioning capability, and reduce motions and noise, making the offshore stay more comfortable, efficient, and safe for technicians.
The low-carbon collaboration also marks a step forward for the vision of Operation Zero, an industry coalition working towards the deployment of zero-emission operations vessels and infrastructure in support of the North Sea offshore wind sector from 2025.
Operation Zero was launched by the Department for Transport and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult at COP26, and was signed by RWE.
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