U.S. offshore vessel owner Hornbeck Offshore Services, best known for its offshore oil and gas support vessel services, is looking at business opportunities in the growing U.S. offshore wind sector as well as in offshore accommodation services in the oil and gas area.
For that, Covington, La. based Hornbeck Offshore said Wednesday it had contracted Eastern Shipbuilding Group to convert one of its recently acquired 280-foot offshore supply vessels (OSV) to a service operation vessel (SOV) to meet the growing demand of the U.S. offshore wind market, as well as to serve the demands of the petro-energy flotel market.
Capable of supporting both construction and O&M activities, the U.S. flag, Jones Act-compliant vessel was originally constructed by Eastern in 2014 and will be converted at the company’s 300-acre Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla. It is expected to be available in the spring of 2025.
The HOSSOV 300E has been designed in collaboration with VARD, the original designer of the vessel, to address the key "desirements" of the U.S. offshore wind client community based upon VARD's other recent SOV designs, Hornbeck Offshore said.
According to Hornbeck Offshore, the service operation vessel will have the capacity to accommodate up to 90 or more persons in flotel or offshore wind service mode, with safe, stepless walk-to-work transfer capabilities in up to 2.5m sea states.
The SOV will be equipped with an Uptime 30m motion-compensated offshore gangway, a 10-ton 3D-compensated crane, helideck, enclosed warehouse and stepless boat landing.
Its existing diesel-electric powerplant will be enhanced by a 1,500 kW-hour battery hybrid power system, enabling reduced emission during offshore operations and in harbor transit, the U.S.-based shipowner said.
The SOV accommodations will be constructed to ABS Comfort Class habitability notation standards, and, Hornbeck Offshore said, will include a host of onboard amenities typical of a newbuild SOV.
Todd Hornbeck, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are excited to expand our deep experience in walk-to-work and offshore accommodation services with a fully capable SOV for the benefit of the offshore wind community and our offshore petroleum clients.
"The SOV is a welcomed addition to our high-spec fleet of vessels, as we continue to grow in both our core oilfield and diversified non-oilfield businesses."
Hornbeck is not the first U.S. offshore vessel owner to convert an oil and gas supply vessel for work in the U.S. offshore wind market. Des Allemands, La. based Otto Candies is converting two of its OSVs to operate as SOVs for wind projects in waters off the U.S. Northeast coast.