Palatka, Fla. shipyard St Johns Ship Building this week held a keel laying ceremony for the second vessel in a series of new Jones Act compliant crew transfer vessels (CTV) it is constructing for WINDEA CTV to operate in the U.S offshore wind industry.
WINDEA CTV, a partnership between Hornblower Wind and MidOcean Wind, earlier this year announced orders for three CTVs, including the two being built at St Johns Ship Building, plus another at Gulf Craft in Franklin, La.
In the years ahead, it's expected that dozens of CTVs will be built as part of a new fleet of Jones Act compliant vessels required to support the construction and long-term service of new offshore wind farms.
St Johns Ship Building began building its first CTV for WINDEA in June.
The 30-meter-long vessels are designed by Incat Crowther and have capacity to carry 24 technicians, plus six crew. The Bureau Veritas-classed vessels will be propelled by quad Volvo IPS propulsion units driven by Volvo DI13 main engines. The vessels have been described as "hybrid-ready", meaning they are being built with space to accommodate retrofitted equipment for hybrid electric propulsion in the future.
Scheduled for delivery in 2023, the vessels will first go to work for GE Renewables, operating out of New Bedford, Mass. during the construction of the Vineyard Wind I wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.
“We are pleased to reach the point of our second WINDEA keel laying. Our team will continue SJSB’s crew transfer vessel construction program in covered work areas with the direct support of Incat [Crowther] and the oversight by Hornblower,” said Jeff Bukoski, President of St. Johns Ship Building. “We remain focused on infrastructure improvements that will contribute to the quality and efficiency of our aluminum and steel vessel programs required to support offshore wind developments.”
For St Johns Ship Building, the construction of this CTV series signals the official launch of its new focus on dedicated high-speed aluminum vessel production, the company said. St Johns Ship Building over the past few years has made multiple facility modifications and acquired new production equipment such as a computer numerical control (CNC) router for processing non-ferrous metals and composite materials.