van oord mega wtiv

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Van Oord Orders ‘Mega’ Wind Turbine Installation Vessel

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3328
October 4, 2021

Rotterdam-based Van Oord has placed an order for a new ‘mega’ wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) capable fo installing up to 20 MW offshore wind turbines.

The jack-up vessel will also be designed to operate on future methanol fuel to reduce its CO2 footprint. Delivery is planned in 2024 from Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China. The vessel design is by Knud E Hansen and will feature components such as a Huisman crane. The agreement also includes an option on a second vessel.

Van Oord has been operating in the offshore wind farm installation market since 2002 and has since installed 14.5 GW of cumulative renewable energy capacity, representing 40% of the total installed capacity globally as of the end of 2020, according to the company.

In 2020, Van Oord worked on and completed offshore wind projects providing renewable power to 2.5 million households, and the demand for offshore wind farms remains high.

“The European Union aims to install 300 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, and worldwide this is expected to be 2000 GW of offshore wind energy,” the company said in its announcement. “In the Netherlands, the goal is to realise 20 GW up to 2030 and another 20 GW of offshore wind energy in the next decade. Wind turbines at sea are also rapidly getting bigger. In 2002 there were wind turbines of 2 MW, nowadays turbines of 14 MW are installed. The rotor blades are already well over a hundred metres long and the transport and installation requires larger ships. Van Oord is investing in a new vessel to transport and install the next generation of 20 MW wind turbines.”

As an EPC contractor (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), Van Oord oversees to the entire process from design to construction and completion. It also provides T&I projects (transport and installation) and other services, such as scour protection and inter array cable and export cable installation.

The new 175-meter WTIV will sail under the Dutch flag and be purpose-built for the transport and installation of foundations and turbines at offshore wind farms. With a top-class crane provided by Huisman, it will lift more than 3,000 metric tons. The vessel will also be designed with an advanced jacking system, with four legs each measuring 126 meters that allow the vessel to be jacked up and work in waters up to 70 meters deep.

The company says the investment is part of a EUR 1 billion fleet investment program it’s undertaking over the next 5 years. In December 2020, Van Oord had already ordered a new green cable-laying vessel at VARD in Norway.

Van Oord has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. The company has already ordered three LNG-fueled trailing suction hopper dredgers, which will be completed in 2022. The new installation vessel will be able to run on the future fuel methanol, reducing the ship’s CO2 footprint by more than 78%. It will also be equipped with an advanced active emissions control technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction) to reduce the NOx emission to an absolute minimum, while an installed 5,000 kWh battery pack can take the peak loads and regenerate energy to reduce the fuel consumption (and corresponding emissions) even further.

“Thanks to our experiences with the installation vessels Aeolus, MPI Resolution and MPI Adventure, we have a good grasp of working with jack-up installation vessels. Now we are going one step further – the new ship will be the largest of its kind. Compared to the Aeolus, this new version has 88% more deck space and over 80% more lifting capacity,” said Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Offshore Wind of Van Oord.

“To become carbon neutral by 2050, we look for new fuel technologies,” says Jaap de Jong, Director Ship Management of Van Oord. “We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact. Similar steps have already been made in our investment programme with the construction of three LNG-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredgers and the ordering of a new green cable-laying vessel.”

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