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Offshore wind vessel and project news


The New York State has opened its third offshore wind solicitation to procure at least 2,000 MW of offshore wind energy. The solicitation is administered by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It will be open for proposals from developers until 22 December, with a solicitation award announcement expected in early 2023. In this third round, submissions will be reviewed based on 70% price, 20% economic benefits, and 10% viability. The solicitation also emphasises that evaluation points will be given to repurposing existing downstate fossil-based electric generation infrastructure, utilising energy storage for future system reliability and other clean energy investments. Furthermore, in state and domestic workforce development, manufacturing, and operation and maintenance are in focus, with a minimum US iron and steel purchase requirement and credit for local supply chain investments. In addition, project bids must include meshed-ready transmission plans that enable projects to make landfall via either direct radial export cable or grid “backbone” that collects power from multiple farms for centralised transmission to the onshore grid. The New York State has a mandate of 9 GW of electricity from offshore wind and 70% renewable energy on the grid by 2030, in addition to a goal of 6 GW offshore wind by 2030. The state currently has five farms in development, and its first offshore wind farm is now under construction, the 130 MW South Fork project. The other four state farms are the 924 MW Sunrise Wind, the 816 MW Empire Wind 1, the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2, and the 1,230 MW Beacon Wind. These farms are expected to bring a combined economic impact of USD 12.1 billion to the state, and the offshore wind portfolio is the most extensive in the nation. New Jersey is the second largest offshore wind state with a contracted capacity of 3.75 GW on a 7.5 GW mandate, while Massachusetts has signed agreements for 3.2 GW towards a 5.2 GW requirement.

The Irish government has decided to increase the country’s offshore wind target for 2030 from 5 GW to 7 GW. The decision comes after an agreement on Sectoral Emissions Ceilings that set limits on greenhouse gases for each sector of the Irish economy to the end of this decade. The overall reduction goal is 51% by 2030 compared to 2018 levels. The government has also recently agreed on a climate law that requires the Climate Change Advisory Council to prepare, publish and submit a carbon budget to support the goal, in addition to the legally binding objective of achieving net zero in 2050. Furthermore, the government has made several moves to streamline the permitting process of offshore wind and facilitate faster development.

The French government has selected areas to implement two offshore wind farms on the coast of the South Atlantic. The farms are expected to deliver electricity to 1.6 million people, and the commissioning could start in the early 2030s.

The US offshore wind industry lauds support for the USD 433 billion climate measure, including federal investments, loans, and tax credits to support the domestic supply chain and transmission grid by Senate Democrats. Charles Schumer, who has negotiated the package with Joe Manchin to get his needed support, hopes to get the measure for a vote before 5 August. If it passes, the next step is the House of Representatives in September, where the Democrats have a slim majority.

Siemens Gamesa wins the first firm offshore wind turbine order in Japan for the 112 MW Ishikari offshore wind power project. The order includes 14 SG 8.0-167 DD turbines and a 15-year full-scope service agreement awarded by Green Power Investment. The turbines have a 167-metre rotor, and the blades measure 81.4 metres each. They are built explicitly for offshore use to meet local codes and standards regarding typhoons, seismic activities, and 50 Hertz operation, in addition to working in high and low ambient temperatures. Because of this, the turbine has received the ClassNK certification as the first dedicated offshore wind turbine. The commissioning of the project is expected in July 2023, and it is located five kilometres from the shore of Ishikari Bay in Hokkaido. The farm has also received ClassNK certification as the second commercial-scale project, which is mandatory to get the construction approved by the Japanese government.

Ocean Winds has awarded the partnership between Navantia Seanergies and Windar Renovables with a contract to manufacture and deliver 14 monopiles for the Moray West wind farm in Scotland. The 882 MW farm will consist of 60 Siemens Gamesa 14.7 MW wind turbines installed approximately 23 kilometres off the coast of Caithness. The monopiles will be the first order executed at the new XXL monopile factory that Navantia and Windar are building in the Fene shipyard in Spain, with an investment of more than EUR 36 million. The material collection process will begin this July, and the production is expected to start in December. The monopiles will be 90 metres tall, with a diameter of 8 – 10 metres and 2,000 tons in maximum weight.

The construction of the 277 wind turbine foundations at the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank wind farm has started, and Manor Renewable Energy has been contracted to provide a complete temporary power solution for the construction. The company will use its generator recycling strategy while maintaining and refuelling all from Walk-2-Work vessels, which allows for a much smaller number of generators in operation than typical, according to the company. The Dogger Bank wind farm is the world’s largest offshore wind farm and is located 130 km off the Northeast coast of England. It will be built in three 1.2 GW phases and deliver its first electricity in 2023 before being fully commissioned in 2026.

Seaway 7 has been awarded a contract to transport and install inner-array grid cables for an offshore wind project in the US. The undisclosed project will include approximately 160 kilometres of 66 kV subsea power cables and a respective cable protection system. The contract has been valued at US 50 – 150 million, and the company will use vessels from its cable lay fleet. The agreement is subject to the client reaching a financial close by the end of 2022. The project is Seaway 7’s second project in the US, after the Coastal Virginia demonstrator offshore wind farm was completed in 2020.

Tekmar Group has secured a contract to supply 100 cable protection systems, which will be used on multiple offshore wind farms in China’s Shangdong and Guangdong provinces. The systems will be delivered through 2022, and the contract has a value of about GBP 1.6 million.

COSCO Shipping Logistics’ Supply Chain Engineering Logistics Business Division will provide intermodal logistics services for the Ca Mau No. 1 offshore wind project’s 75 turbines in Vietnam. The farm will be built in two phases, with the first commissioning in October this year. The 350 MW project will be situated in a flat tidal area of Sanjiang Dongshe in Nangen County, and it is the largest intertidal wind power project under construction in Vietnam. MingYang Smart Energy will deliver its MySE 5.0-166 offshore wind turbines to the farm.

The 70-metre-long vessel Fugro Discovery is set to soon commence a geophysical and geotechnical site survey at Vattenfall’s Norfolk offshore wind projects in the North Sea. The survey will begin around 1 August and be completed within the end of November. The wind projects are located 47 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk and will consist of 180 – 312 turbines. In total, Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas will deliver up to 3.6 GW of electricity. The construction starts in 2023, and the wind zone will deliver power around 2025.

Edda Wind has terminated the contracts with Colombo Dockyard in Sri Lanka for constructing and delivering two commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs). The company says that it has not paid any pre-delivery instalments; only small costs have occurred. Edda Wind will also receive compensation, giving a “modest positive profit and loss effect”. The reason for the termination was that the shipyard could not fulfil the contracts due to the situation in Sri Lanka. The country experiences inflation exceeding 50%, which is affecting the supply chains and manufacturing sector. This situation has led to many demonstrations and settlements spreading across the country. Edda Wind emphasises that its growth ambitions remain unchanged and that they are evaluating alternatives for future fleet expansion. The company currently operates two purpose-built offshore wind service operation vessels (SOVs) and has seven dedicated offshore wind vessels ordered; two SOVs and five CSOVs.

The shipping and maritime logistics division of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), ADNOC Logistics & Services (ADNOC L&S), has announced the acquisition of the offshore support vessel owner and operator Zakher Marine International (ZMI). This will add 24 jack-up barges and 38 offshore support vessels from ZMI to ADNOC L&S’ fleet, which then grows to over 300 ships. The acquisition will broaden ADNOC L&S’ services to include assets for offshore operations, including ZMI’s maiden offshore renewable project in China. ZMI is also an Abu Dhabi-based company with the world’s largest fleet of self-propelled jack-up barges. The company has several long-term contracts with national oil companies, independent oil companies and EPC operators but recently entered the offshore wind market. ZMI continues to operate as a standalone entity under ADNOC L&S, and the transaction is said to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.

SMTS has signed a contract with the ZPMC shipyard to supply China’s first construction service operation vessel (CSOV) for the offshore wind market with its walk-to-work equipment. The agreement comprises the delivery of an access and cargo tower with a motion compensated gangway for the CSOV. The tower, which also has an elevator, will allow stepless crew and cargo transfer from the vessel to offshore structures. Shanghai Electric Windpower Group will contract the ship to maintain offshore wind turbines in China’s Jiangsu and Fujian provinces. The boat is one of two SOVs Ulstein Verft is building for Shanghai Electric Windpower Group. They have a battery, two different designs with Ulstein’s X-BOW and X-Stern features, and accommodation for 60 and 100 people, respectively.

Ampelmann has sold two W-type gangways to Ulstein Verft. This electric motion compensation system will be permanently integrated into the construction service operation vessels (CSOVs) Ulstein Verft is building for Olympic. According to Ampelmann, the height adjustable W-type systems can withstand 3.5 metres in wave heights, and the systems are ideal for construction, commissioning, and maintenance work on offshore wind farms. The system, which features a lift and a gangway, doubles as a crane and can transfer up to 2,000 kg of personnel and cargo. Furthermore, they have a remote-controlled trolley that can transport 400 kg of equipment across the gangway. Ampelmann says the company has sold five W-types in the last four months. The CSOVs are based on SX222 design with TWIN-X Stern from Ulstein Design & Solutions and will be launched in 2024. They will be delivered with hybrid battery propulsion and be prepared for methanol fuel. The vessels can accommodate 126 people in 91 cabins and measure 89.6 metres with a beam of 19.2 metres.

The heavy transport vessel (HTV) Seaway Swan has been delivered to Seaway 7. The 50,000 DWT vessel is suitable for float-over operations projects, feeder duties alongside installation vessels, and subsea construction support. Seaway 7 signed a bareboat contract with United Faith for the ship, which previously was named MV Xin Qun 3. The HTV is built by Qingdao Beihai shipyard, part of the CSSC group. Seaway Swan completed the sea trials at the beginning of April and will conduct its maiden voyage later this summer. The vessel is registered in Norway and carries the Norwegian International Ship Register flag. According to the company, this new vessel will extend the company’s capacity to load more extensive items, such as the XXL monopiles. Seaway 7 now operates six HTVs, two heavy lift vessels, three cable vessels, and two next-generation offshore wind installation vessels under construction.

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