First Low-Carbon Floating Installation Vessel Receives UK Funding
The UK Government has awarded funding to a consortium led by Morek Engineering to design a new class of low-carbon installation vessels for the floating offshore wind market.
The consortium includes Morek Engineering, Solis Marine Engineering, Tope Ocean, First Marine Solutions, and Celtic Sea Power.
The consortium has won the funding through the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.
The outline vessel design will be ready for engagement with class society to achieve approval in principle by early 2025, according to Morek Engineering.
“This will be a first-in-class low-carbon vessel designed specifically to meet the complex installation requirements of floating offshore wind farm moorings and foundations. The project aims to align the detailed requirements of the emerging Floating Wind sector with the objectives of the UK maritime decarbonisation agenda,” said Bob Colclough, MD of Morek Engineering.
“As the next era of offshore wind development moves towards using floating foundations, unlocking deeper sites and accessing stronger winds further from shore, this will involve mooring floating foundations to support the world’s largest offshore wind turbines, some the size of the Eiffel Tower.“
Colclough added that the current offshore service fleet has limited capacity and capability and, to reach the net zero goals set out by the UK Government and other governments around the world, the offshore construction market will have to reach a serial production level that is unprecedented in offshore industries.
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The project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4), funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by Innovate UK.
CMDC4 is part of the Department’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, a GBP 206m initiative focused on developing the technology necessary to decarbonise the UK domestic maritime sector.
“To indicate the scale of the decarbonisation challenge, greenhouse gas emissions from offshore wind farm operation and maintenance vessels constituted more than 3% of domestic shipping emissions in the UK in 2022. With ambitious targets to develop the UK’s offshore wind capacity from 14 GW in 2023 to 50 GW by 2050, this percentage share is likely to rise to well over 10% as this pipeline is realised through a ‘business as-usual’, fossil fuel vessel scenario,” said Ian Godfrey, MD of Tope Ocean.
“The new vessel will be designed to carry out complex, high-energy construction tasks within the duty cycle constraints of future low and zero-carbon fuel systems.”
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