Dutch marine and offshore services company Van Oord has ordered a new offshore wind turbine installation vessel that will be able to install next-generation wind turbines of up to 20MW. The vessel will be built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China.
"The jack-up vessel can operate on methanol and install up to 20 MW wind turbines at sea with a very low CO2 footprint. The investment is in line with the increasing global demand for offshore wind farms. The ship is expected to enter the market in 2024," Van Oord said, joining the spree of recently announced newbuild WTIV orders by the likes of Dominion Energy, Cadeler, OHT, Eneti, and Havfram. Van Oord will have an option to order a second vessel, too.
According to a recent report by World Energy Reports, over 100 new offshore wind turbine and foundation installation and maintenance vessels will be required for offshore projects planned over the next decade, as the number of proposed projects grows, but also as the turbines and foundations get larger, meaning the currently available fleet won't be able to install them. What is more, most of the current fleet could become obsolete by 2025. Read more.
Van Oord, which has since 2002 contributed to the installation of a cumulative renewable energy capacity of 14.5 GW, has stressed that the demand for offshore wind farms remains high, with EU's aim to install 300 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, and worldwide this is expected to be 2000 GW of offshore wind energy.
"In the Netherlands, the goal is to realise 20 GW up to 2030 and another 20 GW of offshore wind energy in the next decade," Van Oord said.
"Wind turbines at sea are also rapidly getting bigger. In 2002 there were wind turbines of 2 MW, nowadays turbines of 14 MW are installed. The rotor blades are already well over a hundred metres long and the transport and installation requires larger ships. Van Oord is investing in a new vessel to transport and install the next generation of 20 MW wind turbines," the Dutch company said.
"This investment prepares us for the increase in scale in the offshore wind industry and allows us to maintain our leadership position," Pieter van Oord, CEO Van Oord said.
The 175-meter offshore installation vessel will be able to transport and install both foundations and turbines at offshore wind farms. It will be equipped by a Huisman crane able to lift more than 3,000 tonnes.
According to Van Oord, the vessel, of a Knud E Hansen design, will have an advanced jacking system.
"Four giant legs, each measuring 126 meters, allow the vessel to be jacked up and work in waters up to 70 meters deep. This investment is part of a EUR 1 billion fleet investment program over the next 5 years. In December 2020, Van Oord had already ordered a new green cable-laying vessel at VARD in Norway," the company said.
"Thanks to our experiences with the installation vessels Aeolus, MPI Resolution and MPI Adventure, we have a good grasp of working with jack-up installation vessels. Now we are going one step further - the new ship will be the largest of its kind. Compared to the Aeolus, this new version has 88% more deck space and over 80% more lifting capacity," said Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Offshore Wind of Van Oord
According to Van Oord the new installation vessel will be able to run on the future fuel methanol, which reduces the ship's CO2 footprint by more than 78%.
Also, the vessel will be equipped with an advanced active emissions control technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction) to reduce the NOx emission "to an absolute minimum."
Further, an installed 5,000 kWh battery pack can take the peak loads and regenerate energy to reduce the fuel consumption and corresponding emissions even further," Van Oord said.