Florida based Aeolus Energy awarded Ulstein the design contract to develop the first ever Jones Act compliant offshore wind Service Operations Vessel (SOV), said a press release from Norway-based Ulstein Group ASA.
The contract marks Ulstein’s entry into the U.S. offshore wind market and serves as Aeolus’ initial investment toward a fleet of vessels including cable ships, crew transfer vessels and hotel ships, all to be constructed by U.S. shipyards.
The vessel will be a customized version of Ulstein’s SX195 design developed to meet the specific requirements of Aeolus Energy and U.S. Coast Guard. The project starts with customizing the SX195 design, to optimize the new walk-to-work vessel for operations in U.S. offshore wind farms, including featuring the X-BOW and X-STERN hull shape.
“The choice for Ulstein has been based on their market leadership and proven track record in designing and constructing offshore wind vessels”, said Elia Golfin, CEO of Aeolus Energy Inc. “Together with Ulstein, we will develop a modern fleet, boost the American shipbuilding industry and pushing the envelope in the offshore wind industry where Jones Act-compliant vessels are concerned.”
Having introduced the first dedicated offshore wind support vessel in the European market in 2013, Ulstein once again leads the way into a new market. This contract in the U.S. is a milestone and a recognition of Ulstein’s market position in SOVs.
“Offshore wind is one of our core markets, and we are extremely proud to have been selected as design partner by Aeolus for developing the United States’ first purpose built SOV vessel,” said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO of Ulstein. “With our track record in SOV and offshore vessel designs, we are committed and do look forward to support Aeolus in realizing their offshore wind ambitions and develop their fleet portfolio. Using also our experiences in supporting yards worldwide to construct our innovative offshore vessel designs, it is with great enthusiasm that we now start on this exciting journey in the United States.”
For Ulstein, this is the fifth contract in offshore wind this year. Previous contracts included two SOVs, a cable lay vessel and a large foundation installation vessel.