Longitude Engineering Designing Offshore Charging-Capable Electric SOV for Bibby Marine-Led Consortium

A consortium led by Bibby Marine, which is working on bringing a zero-emission electric service operation vessel (eSOV) to the UK and European offshore wind markets, has contracted Longitude Engineering, a UK-based engineering consultancy and ship design firm, to design the new SOV.

Image courtesy of Longitude Engineering

Bibby Marine announced the company and its consortium partners Port of Aberdeen, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Kongsberg, DNV, Shell and Liverpool John Moores University plan to build the world’s first zero-emission electric SOV in September 2023, when the project was awarded GBP 20 million in UK government funding under the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition.

London-based Longitude Engineering, an ABL Group company, has developed the vessel concept for the consortium and is now developing the design to the Approval in Principle (AiP) level for verification of the energy storage system and methanol system philosophy. This phase also includes design development and support for shipyard pricing, the UK company says.

The eSOV is based on Longitude Engineering’s OSD-IMT9605 design and will be powered by a hybrid 20 MWh battery system and dual-fuel methanol generators for backup and offshore charging capability.


The vessel is planned to be deployed to support offshore construction and operations and maintenance activities in the offshore renewables sector in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, in particular supporting Europe’s growing offshore wind market, according to LongitudeEngineering.

“Whilst development of our renewable energy infrastructure increases, decarbonising the wider project value chain is also of critical importance to further move the dial on our race to net zero. Studies have been conducted to explore the carbon footprint of marine operations in offshore wind construction. This project is the next step – engineering a solution. It has the opportunity to set the tone for future enhanced decarbonisation of vessels involved in offshore operations,” said Dean Goves, Maritime Design Director at Longitude Engineering.

The company says it will apply a multi-disciplined engineering and marine consultancy team to work on this project, including naval architects, master mariners, electrical engineers, specialists in methanol and energy storage solutions, structural engineering, hydrodynamics, marine engineering and more.

“As we announced back in September, we are building the world’s first eSOV. This project is the natural progression of our decarbonisation journey, as we aim to operate a low or no carbon emission vessel by 2026,” said Bibby Marine CEO Nigel Quinn.

“Designed in the UK, the vessel will be a game-changer for our industry, and we are delighted to work alongside some of the market leading contractors and suppliers on this project, such as Longitude. Longitude’s expertise in specialised vessel design is vital to us realising our net zero goals and getting our eSOV in the water.”


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