Japanese shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Dutch maritime contracting company Van Oord have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly own and operate offshore wind installation vessels under the Japanese flag.
The partners aim to start operating a jack-up vessel in Japan by 2022 at the earliest. According to a press release from NYK, the vessel will have a crane capacity of more than 1,000 tonnes and will be suitable to install the latest generation of wind turbines.
The vessels will be used for the transport and installation of both the foundations and wind turbines for offshore wind farms.
The collaboration will make use of Van Oord’s technical and operational expertise in offshore wind and the NYK Group’s knowledge of the Japanese market. NYK and Van Oord are also exploring opportunities to collaborate on other types of vessels required for the construction and operation of offshore wind farms.
In response to the growing offshore wind market in Japan, a new law came into force in April 2019 that aims to facilitate the development of offshore wind projects in Japan. As a result, demand within the offshore wind market is expected to increase.
Challenges for the development of offshore wind in Japan include the lack of resources (experienced workforce and specialized equipment required for the installation of the large foundations and turbines for offshore wind farms).
"By joining forces, NYK and Van Oord intend to meet these challenges and contribute to the successful development of offshore wind as a sustainable energy source for Japanese society," said the release.