Ocean Installer and VARD are entering into a partnership to develop one of the world's most advanced turbine installation vessels for offshore wind.
'We will jointly be developing one of the world's most advanced vessels for installation of future offshore wind turbines, which are too large for the existing turbine installation fleet,' says Erik Haakonsholm, General Manager of Vard Group Offshore & Specialized Vessels.
'By being able to install wind turbine components above 1 000 tonnes more than 150 metres above sea level, this ship is expected to be highly attractive for construction of big international wind farms in the coming years.'
International wind farm developers are due to develop many large offshore wind projects in Europe and Asia, as well as on the American east coast. The wind turbine installation market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and vessel capacity will be insufficient.
'This all-Norwegian collaboration between subsea contractor Ocean Installer and the Vard shipyards builds on experience, quality standards and efficiency developed over years of work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,' states Odd Strømsnes, CEO of Ocean Installer.
The new vessel will be able to install future giant wind turbines offshore. Vard has extensive experience in design and construction of complex offshore construction vessels and advanced special purpose ships. The current project portfolio includes the REV Ocean research and expedition vessel as well as other highly specialized and autonomous zero-emission vessels.
'On the basis of Norwegian advanced ship design and construction capabilities, as well as experience from complex subsea projects, we're now ready to take a piece of the growing global market for installation of offshore wind turbines,' the two explains. 'Energy companies in Norway are winning large international tenders for offshore wind farm construction, so it is natural for us to get into the game.'
Strømsnes reports that Ocean Installer is already prequalified for certain large offshore wind projects and is participating in tenders in the USA and Europe for both Norwegian and international energy companies.
'Such change of direction is very important for traditional Norwegian oil and gas supply chain, which long term will have to replace its existing business with something else,' he says. 'We currently have high expertise and solid revenues from oil and gas, and these resources are now dedicated to establish us as a leading player within the offshore wind space.'
To lead this initiative, Ocean Installer has recruited several key people from the sector. These include Even Larsen, former CEO of Fred Olsen Ocean, and Olav Hetland, former vice president for offshore wind power at Statkraft.