Danish offshore wind installation services provider Cadeler has officially ordered a $345 million offshore wind foundation installation vessel from China's COSCO Heavy Industries.
Cadeler first announced the plan to order the F-class vessel last week, when it announced a private placement of shares aimed at raising the part of the funds for the vessel order. The contract includes an option for an additional X or F-class vessel.
"The new vessel will enable Cadeler to target the growing segment of foundation installations and enhances the Company’s capability to offer a complete set of services within transport and installation of offshore wind farms," Cadeler said.
Cadeler is currently building two X-Class vessels, for the wind turbine installation, to be delivered by COSCO Heavy Industries in Q3/2024 and Q1/2025.
"The new F-Class vessel will be built on specifications similar to the two X-class vessels drawing on scale benefits and providing substantial operational advantages. The F-class features a unique design, allowing the vessel to convert from being a foundation installation unit to a wind turbine generator (WTG) installation vessel within a short period of time," Cadeler said.
The F-Class will be able to transport up to six XL monopiles (weight 2,300-2,600mt each), alternatively to transport and install five sets of 20MW+
turbines per round-trip. The new F-Class is expected to be delivered in Q4/2025.
Cadeler is also in talks with a potential client for a maiden contract concerning an XL Monopile foundation installation contract in the North Sea, currently expected to start in Q2/2026.
Cadeler F-Class and X-Class facts:
Main crane capacity
Larger than X-class
2,600 t @ 46 m
Hook height above deck
Over 200 m
Over 200 m
> 17,600 t
> 17,600 t
"Upon completion of the new X- and F-Class vessels, Cadeler will operate the largest and most capable fleet in the industry in terms of loading capacity and ability to transport, service and install the largest offshore foundations and wind turbines. The new vessels represent state-of-the art technology in all aspects, including optimization of energy efficiency and minimization of emissions and environmental impact," Cadeler said.
The vessels will be able to transport and install seven complete 15MW turbine sets per load or five sets of 20+ MW turbines, cutting down the number of trips needed for each project. The F-class will be able to transport up to six XL monopiles (weight 2,300-2,600mt each) per round-trip, which improves operational efficiency substantially, Cadeler said.
The X- and F-class vessels are built at COSCO’s shipyard in Qidong in China. The strategic partners for the large-scale new builds include GustoMSC NOV, Kongsberg, Huisman, and MAN Energy.
Cadeler currently owns two O-class offshore wind installation vessels, the Wind Orca and the Wind Osprey. Last month, the Wind Osprey started installing wind turbines at Vattenfall's Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea.
At HKZ, the world's first subsidy-free offshore wind farm, Cadeler's Wind Osprey is installing the new generation of Siemens Gamesa 11MW turbines, which have a rotor diameter of 200 meters, and a total height of 225 meters measured from the sea level to the top of the blade.
The first X-class vessel, due for delivery in Q3 2024, has already been contracted for one of the largest offshore windfarms in the world – the 1.4 GW “Sofia” offshore wind farm in the North Sea, owned by RWE. For this project, Cadeler will assist Siemens Gamesa with the transport and installation of one hundred (100) 14 MW wind turbines. The 14 MW turbines are expected to be the largest wind turbines in the world at the time of installation.
Offshore wind vessel demand to outpace supply
Rystad Energy recently said that the growing offshore wind ambitions across the globe along with ever-growing turbines, could soon pose a problem as there doesn't seem to be enough vessels to meet the growing demand for the installation of these giant offshore wind turbines.
According to Rystad Energy, the demand will outpace the supply of capable vessels very soon, by 2024.
"As the energy transition accelerates, demand for offshore wind turbine installation vessels worldwide, excluding China, will rocket from 11 vessel years in 2021 to almost 79 vessel years by 2030. The need for installation vessels for turbines larger than 9 MW, which was nonexistent in 2019, will grow significantly by the end of the decade and reach 62 vessel years in 2030," Rystad said.
With the demand growing, there has been an increase in orders for newbuild offshore installation vessels and new, larger cranes to be installed on the existing fleet. It remains to be seen if the pace of the newbuild supply will be able to catch up with the increasing demand.