Schottel has reached a mutual agreement with Norfolk, Va.-based Lyon Shipyard that positions both companies for the expansion of the U.S. offshore wind industry. The agreement was established based on their shared long-term strategy to support both the existing market and the up-and-coming offshore wind farm industry.

U.S. wind farm operations will need a large fleet of Jones Act-qualified service operation vessels (SOVs), which will be fitted with thrusters and DP systems. These vessels will also require periodic drydocking, maintenance and thruster overhauls.

“Our partnership started with harbour tugs years ago. We overhauled the drive units here under Schottel’s supervision,” Johnny Gaskins, VP of production at Lyon Shipyard, said in a statement announcing the pact. “Today, we have a plethora of Z-drives, including spare units and spare parts. We have established capacity here to be able to service Schottel propulsion systems in all power ranges.”

Under the deal, Lyon Shipyard invested in a 500-square-meter Z-drive maintenance building, and Schottel provides Lyon with technicians and technical support.

The global wind industry has a limited supply of dedicated Wind Turbine Installation Vessels (WTIVs), and two of them are already equipped with Schottel thrusters — DEME's Innovation and Jan de Nul’s Vole au Vent. More wind installation vessels, such as two for Jan de Nul, Voltaire and Les Alizés, are under construction with Schottel propulsion systems. Following their delivery later this year, they will be among the largest ships of their kind in the world.

“Schottel has extensive experience in the European offshore wind sector and the U.S. commercial workboat market,” Gary Aucoin, president at Schottel said. “Benefitting from the worldwide network of expertise, the new agreement helps us to establish a first in class service base on the East Coast. With Lyon Shipyard, we have a partner at our side that is located in the heart of the U.S. offshore wind coast. We are thus able to continue the level of service Schottel customers have come to expect.”