Undersea cable management company Kalypso Offshore Energy, LLC has signed a letter of intent  with Netherlands-based Royal IHC to build the first U.S. Jones Act compliant cable lay vessel (CLV) for the offshore wind market, the company announced April 15.

“Kalypso brings robust experience in offshore wind management as well as U.S. marine operations. Kalypso is committed to providing safe, reliable, and efficient cable installation solutions to bolster the U.S. offshore wind industry,” the Lewes, Del., company says. 

“The collaboration between Kalypso and Royal IHC, a maritime technology leader, marks a significant advancement in the U.S. wind supply chain by filling a key gap in the nation’s vessel capabilities.”

Dutch shipbuilders Royal IHC and Kalypso intend to build the 5,000-ton CLV capable of cable lay services including installation, repair, and maintenance capabilities. Their concept  includes a custom-designed dual-lane cable installation system for complete flexibility in the field during installations. Two cable carousels will carry and transport 100 kilometers (62 miles)  of cable in a single trip.

Partners Royal IHC and Kalypso Offshore Energy say they plan "to domestically produce a state-of-the-art 5,000-ton CLV." Kalypso image.

“Kalypso is thrilled to partner with Royal IHC to design and deliver America’s first Cable Lay Vessel built on U.S. soil dedicated to offshore wind,” said Colin Smith, managing director of Kalypso, “Kalypso’s CLV will enhance the nation's offshore energy prospects and foster local economic growth.” 

The development of this CLV is a significant milestone for Royal IHC and the offshore wind sector in the U.S. We feel privileged to provide our added value to a knowledgeable pioneer such as Kalypso,” said Royal IHC CEO Derk te Bokkel.

U.S.-flag cable lay vessels are seen as a critical need by offshore wind industry advocates, with heavy international demand for available vessels . 

“Cable installation and repair are critical, but often overlooked, functions to the offshore wind industry and the U.S. must upgrade our capabilities for state and federal deployment targets to be met,” said John Begala, vice president of state and federal policy at the nonprofit industry group Oceantic Network. “This investment and partnership demonstrate the attractiveness of the U.S. market and represent a significant maturation of our domestic supply chain.”

Kalypso and Royal IHC are working “to finalize contract, engineering, and construction details,” the companies said. “This collaboration marks a significant step in achieving Kalypso’s mission to offer a local, experienced solution for the cable lay sector of the U.S. offshore wind industry.”