Vard and Windward Offshore have signed a contract for the design and construction of two hybrid commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs). The parties have also agreed on an option for two additional vessels.
Windward Offshore is a consortium, currently under establishment and led by the Asian Spirit Steamship Company’s (ASSC) offshore arm, SeaRenergy Group, in Germany. Partners include SeaRenergy Offshore Holding, Blue Star Group, Diana Shipping and SeraVerse. The collaboration marks Windward Offshore’s first project with Vard.
SeaRenergy was established in 2010 and is the offshore wind services arm of the Rickmers family. The partnership between Vard and SeaRenergy dates back to 2015 when the two began exploring SOV projects.
“The work both companies have invested now [yields] results when we enter a partnership on renewable tonnage, combining Vard’s shipbuilding excellence and SeaRenergy’s first-hand working experience with CSOVs on numerous offshore wind projects,” explained Benjamin Vordemfelde, CEO of SeaRenergy Group.
“While the changes in the political framework have fostered the entry of new developers into the offshore wind market, the investment activities in the offshore wind infrastructure are still, by far, too low. ASSC has now decided to again be a first mover in this field to ensure availability of attractive vessel capacity in 2025 and beyond, when the wind farm projects currently under planning and permitting will be installed and commissioned.”
“I am proud to be able to manage the development of our fleet together with Vard,” said Clasen Rickmers, owner of SeaRenergy and The Asian Spirit Steamship Company. “I am convinced of the potential of this investment and cannot emphasize enough that this strategic move enables us to provide customers and partners with state-of-the-art and futureproof offshore wind tonnage.”
“We are excited to announce our entry into a new sector of the shipping industry through a strategic partnership involving the acquisition of two CSOV vessels,” added Semiramis Paliou, director and CEO of Diana Shipping. “We view this investment as another attestation to our commitment for a greener and more sustainable future. Together with our esteemed partners, we embark on an exciting journey that should contribute to a cleaner and more eco-friendly world.”
The two vessels will use the Vard 4 19 platform design, will have a beam of 19.5m and will be equipped with a height-adjustable motion-compensated gangway with elevator system, and a height-adjustable boat landing system. The vessels will be outfitted with a comprehensive SeaQ package from Vard Electro that includes systems and solutions for power, control, bridge and communication. The vessels will also be prepared for operation on green methanol. The CSOVs will be able to accommodate 120 people on board.
“We are proud that Windward Offshore/SeaRenergy chose Vard as their partner when deciding to enter the CSOV/SOV market,” said Alberto Maestrini, CEO of Vard. “Vard enables sustainable business at sea and aims to lead the green and technological transition in maritime operations. This partnership with ASSC/SeaRenergy shows that we are on our way to achieve these goals. We welcome Windward Offshore/SeaRenergy into the offshore and specialized vessels market and thank them for the opportunity. We look forward to continuous collaboration.”
The vessels are being designed by Vard Design in Ålesund, Norway. The first hull will be built in one of Vard’s shipyards in Romania, while the final outfitting, commissioning and delivery will be carried out by one of Vard’s shipyards in Norway. The first hybrid CSOV is scheduled for delivery in Q2 2025.