Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) has signed the firm order for the construction of an offshore wind turbine generator installation vessel, which will mark the heavy-lift and transportation company's entry into the offshore wind turbine installation business.
OHT, which recently started trading on the Merkur Market in Norway, said over the weekend it had placed the firm order for the jack-up unit for wind turbine generators installation through its subsidiary VIND Offshore Installation 1 AS.
The firm shipbuilding contract for the first of what are expected to be two vessels was signed with China Merchants Industry Holdings.
The construction contract comes months after OHT in July announced initial agreements for the construction of two next-generation turbine installation vessels with China Merchants. The value of the order was not disclosed.
Under the agreements signed in July, OHT will, apart from the initial two vessels, have options to order two more vessels of the same type. It is not clear when the second vessel in the initial series will be ordered.
The first two vessels, currently referred to as VIND 1&2, will be of GustoMSC NG-14000XL-G design. They will be designed and built specifically to install the future-generations of offshore wind turbines and XL monopiles.
OHT has said that the vessels will have reduced environmental footprint by way of energy and heat recovery, battery hybrid solutions as well as a sophisticated electrical and control system, reducing CO2 emissions by 20% compared to similar units. As a future option, the vessels will be prepared for fuel cells powered by hydrogen to be installed to cut emissions even further.
The first wind turbine generator installation unit is scheduled to be delivered in Q2 2023.
OHT also has a wind turbine foundation installation vessel under construction in China. The vessel - named Alfa Lift - to be delivered next year, is designed to install monopiles and jackets from a floating vessel in dynamic positioning mode. The vessel already has contracts secure do install foundations on the world's largest offshore wind project - the Dogger Bank in the UK.
OHT, which has made a name for itself by transporting offshore oil and gas drilling rigs, dredgers, and other heavy machinery, has plans to transition from oil & gas to renewables by focusing its transportation fleet on offshore wind foundation, and turbine installation tasks.
The group plans to exit oil & gas markets entirely within 2026, with the exception of sustainable oil & gas decommissioning projects.