A Wind Installation Vessel capable of handling the latest generation of 15MW turbines for Equinor and bp’s Empire Wind project is to be built to ABS Class by Sembcorp Marine for Maersk Supply Services (Maersk).
Two new feeder barges and two diesel-electric hybrid tugboat units will also be built to ABS Class by Kirby Offshore Wind (KOW), to supply the Wind Installation Vessel with towers and turbines for installation off the coast of New York.
Wind Installation Vessel construction is scheduled to be complete in 2025, with work on the Empire Wind project, and associated feeder barge services, expected to commence in late 2025 or early 2026.
“American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is pleased to be providing classification services to both the Wind Installation Vessel and to the hybrid-tugboats and the feeder barges provided by KOW. Maersk will use the Jones Act tugboats and feeder barges for transportation services for the offshore wind project components from South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to the Wind Installation Vessel for the Empire Wind project. With emissions in mind, it is great to see these global companies coming together to use the hybrid tugboats to support the continued build out to 30GWs and furthering the clean technology adoption in the U.S. Maritime sector. Moreover, this serves as an additional step in moving the offshore wind industry forward, with the development of the supply chain within the State of New York for the scale of these projects,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.
“The new feeder solution equips Maersk Supply Service with a methodology that ensures a radically more efficient installation, which will in turn enable developers to release their supply chains more quickly and lead to faster revenue generation from their windfarms. All of this will contribute to bringing down the levelized costs of offshore wind. The solution is also less weather dependent, allowing installation all year round. The feeder methodology has been designed in-house and patented by Maersk Supply Service and is a real credit to the innovation and hard work of the teams involved,” says Jonas Munch Agerskov, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Supply Service.
David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to announce Kirby’s participation in the offshore wind market through our newest business division, Kirby Offshore Wind. We have been carefully evaluating opportunities to enter the offshore wind industry for several years, and we are very pleased to partner with world-class operators such as Maersk, Equinor, and bp on a critical foundational project with a multi-year transportation agreement. Kirby’s participation in this renewable energy space will not only grow Company earnings and returns, but will also greatly enhance our ESG product and service offerings in the coming years. These vessels will create new American jobs, both during the construction phase at two U.S. shipyards, as well as for U.S. mariners once operations commence.”
Sembcorp Marine President and CEO Wong Weng Sun said: “This is another monumental step for the offshore wind industry. Sembcorp Marine is pleased to support the world’s energy transition with its innovative products and to collaborate with its customers to contribute to a more sustainable and greener future.”