Crowley Maritime Corp. announced yesterday that the company has invested in Tugdock, developers of the world’s first road-transportable floating drydock.

The drydock is known as the Tugdock Submersible Platform (TSP). Tugdock is based in Cornwall, UK.

Crowley and Tugdock will explore potential use of the platforms in locations, such as the U.S. West Coast, where depth and conventional drydocks may be ill-suited for the logistics required, Crowley said.

"This important investment and collaboration with Tugdock strategically complement our vision and market leading logistics capabilities to support wind energy development from beginning to end,” Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager, Crowley Wind Services, said in a statement. “Crowley will further the use of offshore wind as a leading alternative energy source by working together with our customers, suppliers, policymakers and others across our value chain for innovations like the Tugdock Submersible Platform.”

Crowley Wind Services is developing and planning wind terminals in California, Louisiana and Massachusetts. At the California Port of Humboldt Bay, Crowley is working on an agreement to build and operate a terminal for manufacturing, installation and operation of offshore wind floating platforms, use of large heavy cargo vessels and provide crewing and marshalling services for the Pacific waters recently approved for leases for wind energy. Humboldt and other West Coast installations will rely on floating offshore wind turbines.

“We are delighted to form a new partnership with Crowley,” Shane Carr, CEO of Tugdock, said in a statement. “Their strategic investment will enable us to take our unique technology to the U.S. floating offshore wind market for the first time. We believe that our new partnership will help accelerate the growth of floating offshore wind in the U.S.”

Tugdock recently participated in Crowley’s first Innovation Expo in Jacksonville, Fla., where start-up ventures pitched their innovations for the advanced energy, sustainability, supply chain and technology sectors.

Tugdock said its patented TSP technology offers a cost-effective solution for developers and ports in the floating offshore wind industry.

TSPs were developed to be launched in ports that lack the sufficient water depth and assembly space required to build and loadout the massive floating substructures required to support offshore wind turbines. The technology allows floating drydocks to be delivered by road in modular form and assembled at the port to dimensions far wider than most of the world’s existing drydocks. Once loaded, the platform is then towed to deeper water for launching and transporting the turbines.

“The cost and time constraints associated with port infrastructure developments and submersible barge suitability are major bottlenecks holding back growth of the floating offshore wind sector,” said Lucas Lowe-Houghton, director of strategy and growth at Tugdock. “Our TSP technology helps overcome these issues, providing a ready-to-go solution that does not require planning or environmental permissions. This is a massive benefit as planning permission for a permanent facility could significantly delay project schedules and not provide a return on investment. Tugdock provides a purpose-built permanent or temporary pre-assembly solution for construction and loadout, wind turbine generator integrations and major repair campaigns.”

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