Maersk Supply Service has been awarded a second U.S. contract for its wind installation vessel (WIV).
Maersk is due to install the wind turbines at the Beacon Wind farm, a joint venture between Equinor and BP, off the U.S. East Coast. The installation of Beacon Wind is expected to start in 2028.
In March 2022, Maersk ordered a newbuild (WIV), the first project for which will be the installation of the U.S. wind park, Equinor's and BP's Empire Wind. This new contract comes in direct continuation of the previously announced contract for Empire Wind.
Designed in-house and patented by Maersk Supply Service, the WIV design works in conjunction with new feeder methodology, expected to be over 30% more efficient than conventional jackup vessels. This is due both to the WIV’s unique feeder capabilities and to the fact that the WIV stays on location for the duration of the installation, while only the tugs and barges ferry to and from the coast, Maersk said. This enables the WIV to be deployed solely for the purpose of the turbine installation.
The solution is also less weather dependent, enabling installation to continue all year round. These elements are expected to contribute to improving the efficiency of the operations and to bringing down the costs of offshore wind, Maersk said.
The WIV will be built in Singapore at SembCorp Marine, with the steel cutting ceremony set for the fourth quarter. The jacking units, load transfer system and crane will be provided by NOV, and the design work has been supported by ABS. Delivery to the U.S. is expected in 2025.
“With this new agreement, we have secured a stable start for our new wind installation vessel. We are very pleased that Equinor and BP have shown us the trust to extend the award and look forward to future collaboration,” Maersk Supply's Chief Commercial Officer Jonas Munch Agerskov, said in a statement.
Maersk Supply has partnered with Kirby Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Kirby Corp., who will build and operate the feeder barges and tugs in the U.S., in compliance with the Jones Act. Kirby Offshore Wind will support the Beacon Wind contract further by adding a third barge to the installation spread.
Maersk Supply Service, a provider of marine services and project solutions for offshore energy sectors, is a subsidiary of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Lyngby, Denmark.