EnCap Backs Houston-based Firm to Build Jones Act WTIVs

December 1, 2022

©EnCap
©EnCap

Houston-based Bleutec Industries, a company which describes itself as the builder, owner, and operator of Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessels, said Thursday it had secured "a significant capital commitment" from EnCap Investments L.P.

Bleutec said the support from EnCap would enable the company to develop its Jones Act wind tubine installation fleet "quickly."

“Partnering with EnCap, a strategic capital provider with a strong track record facilitating portfolio company growth, provides the necessary support for Bleutec to quickly develop our Jones Act vessels in order to build our competitive advantage in this nascent market,” said Robin Bodtmann, Bleutec Chief Executive Officer. 

Bodtmann, who founded the company in 2019, previously served as the Vice President of Strategy and Development at Wood Group where she oversaw engineering, procurement, and construction, and operations and maintenance for the Americas. 

 

Bleutec WTIV specs

The specifications of the wind turbine installation vessels that Bleutec intends to build are impressive; according to the company, they will be able to install offshore wind turbines with capacity of up to around 22 megawatts. These turbines don't exist yet.

The company says it is focusing on "Binary Marine Installation Solution" ("BMIS"), which it says is a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive heavy-lift jack-up Wind Turbine Installation Vessels ("WTIV") that are currently used by the offshore wind sector for foundation and turbine installation.

According to Bleutec, the BMIS will be built around a Piling Installation Vessel (“PIV”), a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Light (“WTIVL”), and Service Operation Vessels (“SOV”). 

The PIV will feature a gantry crane, capable of lifting up to 4,500 metric tons, a hydraulic hammer, and deck space for the piles. The WTIVL will install wind turbines of up to ~22 megawatts on the foundations and the SOVs will provide the necessary accommodation and crew support services.

Commenting on its commitment to invest in Bleutec, EnCap Energy Transition Managing Partner Tim Rebhorn said:"We’re excited to partner with Bleutec and help accelerate the management team’s vision to innovate in the deployment of renewables to the U.S. offshore wind sector. The Bleutec team is a natural fit with the EnCap Energy Transition portfolio, and we look forward to their continued growth and success.”

Apart from Robin Bodtmann, the Bleutec team is led by Bo Jardine, who serves as the Chief Innovation Officer. He most recently worked for Shell as a Supply Chain Manager where he led the global commercial strategy for offshore marine logistics. In that role he oversaw offshore vessel design and construction, logistics activities, port facility development, and marine technologies.

Wärtsilä as system integrator

Finland-based marine equipment and engine supplier Wärtsilä said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bleutec Industries, covering Wärtsilä’s role as the system integrator for Bleutec’s Binary Marine Installation Solution.

All vessels making part of the BMIS are designed to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines paired with Wärtsilä’s hybrid Battery Energy Storage Systems, and, according to Wärtsilä, will incorporate the latest advances in Dynamic Positioning.

“Wärtsilä has taken an active role in this project, and their technical expertise and broad experience are very important to the success of the concept. In particular, we appreciate their industry-leading efforts in developing sustainable technologies that will largely define the industry’s future,” said Bleutec's CEO Bodtmann.

“We see the Bleutec BMIS as being a game-changer for the offshore wind industry, and we are excited to have been involved from its early stages. As the system integrator, we will continue to work closely with all the parties to bring the project to a successful conclusion,” says George Franssen, Account Manager New Builds Americas, Wärtsilä.

The vessels will comply with the Jones Act, the law regulating maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports, and will be constructed and flagged in the USA. They will employ U.S. mariners and crews supporting the U.S. offshore wind industry. Deployment is expected to take place during the early part of 2026.




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