The first ever Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), a key vessel for the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry, will be built to ABS Class, the American Bureau of Shipping announced.

Now under construction by Keppel AmFELS, which is also undertaking the engineering and procurement for power company and offshore wind developer Dominion Energy, the 472’ vessel is designed by GustoMSC to handle turbine sizes of 12 megawatts or larger and will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts.

To be named Charybdis, the vessel will have accommodation for up to 119 crew and wind farm technicians. Seajacks is assisting Dominion Energy with construction and operations oversight.

“ABS is the ideal partner for a highly specialized wind turbine installation vessel such as this for the U.S. market. Our extensive knowledge of U.S. regulations combined with offshore industry leadership means we are uniquely equipped to support this project and a range of other innovative vessels now being commissioned for U.S. wind farms. ABS is committed to playing a significant role in the safe development of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Matt Tremblay, ABS senior vice president for global offshore.

"We are pleased to be able to build the largest wind turbine installation vessel in the U.S. for Dominion Energy and support the growing offshore wind industry,” said Mohamed Sahlan, president of Keppel AmFELS, in a joint statement with ABS. “Keppel AmFELS has a solid track record and capabilities in a wide range of offshore vessels and we are also able to leverage the experience of our parent company, Keppel Offshore & Marine, in offshore renewables to provide a compelling construction solution for this milestone project."

“Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly-efficient turbine technologies,” said Mark D. Mitchell, Dominion’s senior vice president of project construction. “This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the U.S.”

“This next-generation turbine installation jack-up vessel is vital to the safe and cost-effective deployment of offshore wind energy in the U.S.,” said Seajacks Chief Executive Blair Ainslie. “Seajacks operates a fleet of offshore installation jack-ups in Europe and Asia and is looking forward to developing the offshore wind supply chain in the U.S. with our partners.”

The Charybdis is just the latest vessel for the U.S. offshore wind industry to be supported by ABS. The first U.S-flagged Jones Act offshore wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) ever ordered will be built to ABS Class. ABS has also issued AIPs for two Jones Act SOVs to Vard and for a series of other wind support vessels from European designers.

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