Offshore wind installation company Eneti Inc, until recently known as Scorpio Bulkers, has entered into a binding agreement for the construction of one Wind Turbine Installation Vessel. The vessel will be built by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
The company also said it was in talks to build another offshore wind installation vessel for the U.S. offshore wind market.
As for the first vessel, ordered from DSME, it will cost $330 million and the vessel will be delivered in early Q3, 2024. In addition, the Eneti has an option to construct an additional vessel at the same price.
The vessel is an NG-16000X design by GustoMSC, an NOV subsidiary, and includes a 2,600 Ton Leg Encircling Crane from the Dutch firm Huisman Equipment.
The offshore wind installation vessel will be able to install giant wind turbines of up to 20 Megawatt - which don't even exist today - at depths of up to 65 meters of water. The vessel can be adapted to operate on the alternate fuels of LNG or Ammonia.
The offshore wind market in the United States, although still small in comparison to Europe, is expected to explode, particularly after the Biden administration approved the country's first major offshore wind farm on Tuesday, touting it as the start of a new domestic energy industry that will help eliminate pollution from the power sector.
In March, the White House announced a government-wide effort to advance offshore wind, including 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, 110GW of U.S. offshore wind by 2050 and the development of a sustainable local offshore wind supply chain.
With several gigawatts of offshore wind capacity set to be deployed along the US East Coast over the next decade, access to Jones Act-compliant WTIVs is critical to the U.S. offshore wind industry. The construction of the first such vessel recently kicked off at Keppel's yard in Texas. Read more here.
Eneti, established after Scorpio Bulkers decided to sell its bulker vessel fleet to focus on offshore wind, said Tuesday it was is in advanced discussions with several American shipbuilders for the construction of its own Jones Act-compliant Wind Turbine Installation Vessel.
"This vessel would be constructed, financed, and operated by American citizens in compliance with the Jones Act, in order to address the heightened demand for transportation and installation capacity on the Continental Shelf of the United States," Eneti said.
Emanuele A Lauro, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Since last August, we have been unequivocal about our intention to enter the Wind Turbine Installation sector. This contract with Daewoo is a milestone for the company, as it reflects months of customer engagement and collaboration with partners, both old and new.
"This vessel will have the advanced lifting capabilities and energy efficiency that offshore wind developers require, not just today but well into the next decade. In addition, we are laying the groundwork for a Jones-Act compliant WTIV to address the American mandate for offshore wind development.
"The growing calls for a safe, efficient, American-constructed, and American-operated asset have been clear and loud. We are intent on providing a state-of-the-art solution to our customers so that they can comply with the Jones Act as they bring renewable energy to the U.S. consumer.”