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Two crew transfer vessels ordered for US offshore wind projects

May 8, 2019 12:39 PM

The Jones Act boats, designed by BMT Group, will be built by U.S. Workboats and Senesco

Courtesy WindServe Marine

The following is text of a news release from Orsted:

(BOSTON) — Orsted, a global leader in offshore wind, and WindServe Marine LLC, an offshore wind support services provider, have entered into a partnership to construct two purpose-built offshore crew transfer vessels (CTVs), which will transport personnel for construction, maintenance, and operation from port to offshore wind farms.

The first CTV will be built by U.S. Workboats in Hubert, N.C., and utilized for Orsted’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, followed by subsequent service on Northeast projects. The second CTV will be built by WindServe’s affiliate shipyard, Senesco Marine, in North Kingstown, R.I., specifically for Orsted’s and Eversource’s Revolution Wind project located off the southern New England coast.

“Choosing WindServe to build our CTVs ... will provide locally built vessels and a local operator for the domestic offshore wind industry,” said Thomas Brostrom, president and CEO of Orsted North America. “WindServe Marine’s experience with Jones Act vessel operations and full service shipyard fabrication, coupled with their dedication to the future of green energy, make them a great partner as we expand operations along the East Coast.”

The CTVs will be a high-speed, custom design from BMT Group, a leading international design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy, built specifically for East Coast sea conditions. BMT has extensive offshore wind experience and a large portfolio of offshore wind vessels, with 49 CTVs currently operating in Europe. This state-of-the-art design is one of the most comfortable and versatile in the industry. Classed by DNV GL, a leading provider of risk management and quality assurance services, these CTVs will meet the highest of build standards needed in the offshore wind industry.

“With over 95 years of experience in the maritime industry, we are committed to offering premier offshore wind support services to the East Coast and look forward to contributing to the future of offshore wind growth,” said Craig Reinauer, president and CEO of the Reinauer Group. “Thanks to Orsted, this partnership between two global leaders in the offshore wind industry will provide new, sustainable jobs for U.S. workers."

The first CTV is already under construction with delivery anticipated early next year. U.S. Workboats specializes in aluminum catamaran construction and has experience in full-service construction of high-speed ferries, pleasure boats, fishing vessels, research vessels and a variety of other aluminum workboats. The shipyard’s 160,000-square-foot indoor fabrication building enables it to deliver multiple vessels a year with staggered build schedules.

Construction of the second CTV will commence in late 2020. Senesco Marine has been constructing state-of-the art vessels, including articulated tug-barge (ATB) units, escort tugs, deck barges and floating dry docks for over 15 years, and its Quonset Point, R.I., facility employs hundreds of local skilled employees. The facility offers 220,000 square feet of indoor fabrication space, with a fully segregated aluminum manufacturing area. Orsted’s order of these new CTVs will help create and sustain in-state jobs for over 40 local tradespeople, engineers and managers.

Orsted is currently collaborating with Dominion Energy and is in the process of constructing the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. Revolution Wind is a partnership between Orsted and Eversource, New England’s premier transmission builder, and is expected to be commissioned in 2023.

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