Damen Shipyards, Gorinchem, Netherlands, and offshore wind services provider Purus Wind, London, have signed a contract for the construction of eight new vessels.

Four Damen fast crew supplier (FCS) 2710 hybrid, three Damen FCS 3210 hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTVs), and one 295.2' construction service operation vessel (CSOV) will be built. 

The FCS 3210s and the CSOV will be equipped for ultra-low emission operations, and be designed to be upgraded to methanol-fueled engines. The order is part of Purus Wind’s strategy to be a leading provider of low-carbon, offshore wind support vessels to meet the needs of the clean energy industry as its members set out to decarbonize, the company said.

The hybrid FCS 2710s will join the three other hybrids that Purus Wind’s subsidiary High-Speed Transfers (HST) Marine ordered from Damen in  2022. Those vessels will be updated with the latest design adjustments such as an improved wheelhouse window arrangement and bridge console lay-out. The twin axe hull form ensures excellent stability and fuel economy as well as providing extensive deck space and accommodations.

The larger FCS 3210s are a new design that will use the same twin axe hull form and share many of the same attributes as the FCS 2710s. As with the new FCS 2710s, a hybrid battery package for zero-emissions operation is integrated into the design. The greater length allows for additional space for crew and passengers, making it more comfortable during operations. Space is also reserved for possible conversion to methanol fuel. 

The latest vessel in the 295.2' Damen CSOV Series will be capable of carrying up to 120 persons in comfort for up to 30 days at a time. In addition to the diesel/electric propulsion system and battery array, innovative features include a hull design that is almost symmetrical fore and aft below the waterline, on which will be mounted Damen’s DPX-Drive. This has four identical thruster units — two forward and two aft — for highly precise manoeuvring and station keeping. 

Other features include excellent stability due to its design, which is further enhanced by a large anti-roll tank. A motion-compensated gangway and crane will also ensure smooth transfers of personnel and equipment. Like the CTVs, it has space reserved for additional battery capacity as and when it is required and will also be pre-prepared for both conversion to methanol engines and offshore charging.

“These vessels will support a pathway for our clients to decarbonize their operations and to maintain our position as a leader with the lowest carbon offshore wind support fleet,” Tom Nevin, CEO of HST Marine and business head of Purus Wind, said in a statement. “We are also very excited about the potential of what will be our first hybrid vessels with the ability convert to methanol.”

The new vessels are scheduled to be delivered between 2024 and early 2027.