Ulstein Designs Methanol-Powered Heavy Transport Vessel for Offshore Wind Sector

Norway’s Ulstein has added a new heavy transport vessel to its design portfolio to meet the increasing logistic requirements of the ever-growing offshore wind market.

According to the Norwegian shipbuilder and designer, the current fleet of heavy transport vessels does not meet the future demand of the offshore wind segment.

Over 380 GW of offshore wind capacity, across 32 markets, is predicted to be added in the next ten years.

In addition to a substantial fleet of installation vessels, new tonnage is needed to transport the foundations and wind turbines from worldwide fabrication locations to marshalling ports or offshore fields, said Ulstein.

“Traditionally, the offshore wind sector has made use of barges or semi-submersible heavy lift vessels for the transportation of wind turbine components however the market is looking for more efficient and low emission vessels to transport large components,” said Edwin van Leeuwen, Managing Director at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV.

Ulstein has developed the so-called HX121 vessel, which Dolf Manschot, Project Manager at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV, says is the latest and largest design in the company’s portfolio of heavy transport vessels.

The design features a ULSTEIN X-BOW to improve seakeeping, maximised deck space, and optimised aft ship for low fuel consumption, resulting in an effective and balanced design relying on proven technologies, which optionally can furnish DP2, according to Ulstein.


The Ulstein Blended Design method was used to find the optimal main dimensions and service speed for efficiently transporting large wind components. This design method enabled us to minimize the fuel consumption per transported component. Furthermore, we focused on load and unload cargo making use of roll on roll off technology,” said Manschot.

The HX121 is also designed to operate on methanol fuel.

“Powering the vessel with Green methanol would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint, while E methanol could even reduce the carbon footprint to zero. As a marine fuel methanol has many advantages, it is the safest alternative fuel, easy to store and relatively inexpensive to produce,” added Manschot.


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