Norway-based offshore shipowner IWS Fleet said Monday that the first steel had been cut in China for its Construction Service Operation Vessel (CSOV).
The steel cutting ceremony was held at the China Merchants Heavy Industry facility in Jiangsu, China, on Friday, January 14, 2022.
The walk-to-work vessel will be named IWS Skywalker and start its first contract at the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in summer 2023. The giant 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm is owned by SSE, Equinor, and ENI.
The hybrid-powered IWS Skywalker is designed to support commissioning works during the construction of offshore wind farms, as well as supporting operations and maintenance during the lifetime of offshore wind farms, bottom fixed and floating.
The Skywalker class can carry up to 120 personnel, has a fully integrated and compensated walk-to-work gangway and a 3D compensated crane which can lift cargo fully compensated from the vessel deck to a fixed or floating wind turbine or perform subsea operations for the balance of plant scope.
The vessel is designed by Kongsberg Maritime and will be equipped with a fully compensated gangway and crane from MacGregor.
"The vessel has several “industry firsts” having the largest battery pack with solar panels for charging, hull, and propulsion design increasing operability and reducing emissions, and an energy consumption estimated to be 20% lower than other CSOV’s currently under construction," IWS Fleet said.
According to the owner, the vessel is also the first in the industry to have the “DNV SILENT” notation, which focuses on minimizing the impact on marine life below water. Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (ENOVA) has granted EUR 1 million to support the environmental initiatives on IWS Skywalker as the vessels advanced technology will reduce annual emissions by more than 1,300t CO2 equivalents.
“This new vessel is reflecting Integrated Wind Solutions’ ambitions to be a front-runner in the industry as an unmatched integrated supplier of services in the offshore wind industry. IWS Skywalker will take the industry to new heights as it pushes the boundaries of operability, environmental impact, and efficiency,” says Christopher A. Heidenreich, Managing Director of the IWS Fleet AS.
The second vessel of the Skywalker class will be delivered in mid-2023. The Norwegian company said that, based on considerable interest in the design and strong market demand, Integrated Wind Solutions is in advanced talks to buy additional vessels of the Skywalker class for delivery in early 2024.