OHT announced on Thursday (Jul 30) its entry into the offshore Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) installation sector, having entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) in Jiangsu, China for the construction of two WTG installation vessels with options for a further two units, through its wholly-owned subsidiary VIND Offshore Installation AS.
The vessels will be jack-ups of GustoMSC design and will be prepared to efficiently handle the next generation WTGs, featuring a telescopic crane with maximum capacity of 2,500t and a maximum lifting height of approx. 165m. The units will be capable of efficiently installing in water depths up to 65m. Special emphasis has been placed on providing a class-leading environmental footprint by way of energy and heat recovery, battery hybrid solutions as well as a sophisticated electrical and control system, reducing CO2 emissions by 20% compared to similar units. As a future option, the vessels have been prepared for fuel cells powered by hydrogen to be installed to cut emissions even further. By working closely with GustoMSC, the shipyard and key vendors to optimize the design, the commercial and delivery terms are very attractive in today’s market.
The first unit will be delivered in early 2023. The delivery structure for the second unit is flexible.
“Through this initiative, OHT firmly establishes its position as a leading, fully integrated Transport and Installation (T&I) company for offshore wind. In doing so, we are responding to client concerns about the lack of capable vessel capacity in the booming offshore wind market. We hear them applauding the development of a capability by a single company to handle the T&I of next generation foundations and turbines”, says Torgeir E. Ramstad, CEO for OHT.
The venture is based on a concept and business model initially developed by VIND Offshore Installation AS and its founder Rune Magnus Lundetræ.
Rune Magnus Lundetræ adds that “OHT already has the organization, systems, track record and market presence required to successfully deliver and execute this initiative. We look forward to our involvement in the world’s first integrated pure-play T&I company in the offshore wind segment with interesting triggers for further growth, including expansion of the Alfa Lift series of foundation vessels and possibly more jack-ups through exercising the options.”.
OHT is already a leading company within heavy transportation, having routinely transported the World’s heaviest and largest structures over the last 14 years, dominated by Oil & Gas clients.
OHT saw an increasing number of opportunities in the offshore wind segment, characterized by high technical and operational complexity. Since 2017 the company has been targeting a leading position in this market, resulting in several contracts to transport offshore wind foundations. Most notably the ongoing Moray East project where OHT is transporting 48 jacket foundations from the UAE to Scotland.
Two years ago, OHT announced a contract to build the World’s largest and most efficient foundation installation vessel – Alfa Lift – at CMHI. This vessel, to be delivered next year, is designed to install monopiles and jackets from a floating vessel in dynamic positioning mode to achieve higher efficiencies and lower cost.
Combined with the existing transportation fleet, OHT will be able to deliver class-leading Transport & Installation services of the largest foundations, whether they are produced near to the windfarm or on a different continent.
16 months after ordering Alfa Lift, OHT announced the award of Dogger Bank A & B where Alfa Lift will transport and install foundations at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, from 2022.
With the addition of the two jack-up installation vessels, OHT further demonstrates its commitment to offshore wind, securing a leading market position.
With this latest announcement, OHT further strengthens its vision to contribute to an efficient and sustainable energy supply for the future.