New Jersey-based Northstar Marine has expanded its liftboat fleet and entered an alliance with a Gulf of Mexico offshore services provider, with plans to provide more services to the emerging offshore wind sector.

A 145’ class liftboat, the Northstar Voyager, is now undergoing refit and Coast Guard recertification before it transits north from the Gulf of Mexico for its first Northstar project in mid-April. The company also has a new specialized 50’x80’x100’-class flexi float jackup, built in 2019.

These new vessels join the 105’ liftboat, the Northstar Vision, which has been locally owned and operated by Northstar Marine since 2011.

Meanwhile, the company has formed an alliance with Laredo Offshore Services, Belle Chasse, La. which recently mobilized its 230’-class liftboat, the Brazos, to New Jersey. “We are very excited to expand our fleet with the addition of the Voyager and the Flexi Float spread at a time when our clients are seeking solutions to service the offshore wind sector,” Northstar CEO Phil Risko said in announcing the new vessels.

The 230' liftboat Brazos recently mobiliized to New Jersey, to be the largest liftboat now working the U.S. East Coast. Laredo Offshore Services photo.

“Our alliance with Laredo brings the largest liftboat homeported on the East Coast. Laredo brings over 40 years of liftboat experience from the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and we value their knowledge and experience.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work for offshore wind for about 10 years now,” Risko told WorkBoat. “It’s been suggested that is we had a larger liftboat there would be more opportunities.”

That work includes geotechnical and vibrocore surveys, cable area studies and emplacing meteorological buoys, said Risko. The Northstar fleet also serves customers working in marine construction and salvage, survey and emergency marine spill response.

The new alliance with Laredo “provides a diverse and capable fleet of liftboats to support the development of offshore wind on the northeast coast of the U.S.,” according to the company.

Laredo Offshore president Nadja Knoulton expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities provided by Northstar and offshore wind.

“Laredo recently completed a geotechnical project for an offshore wind developer along with a number of other projects with Northstar in the northeast,” said Knoulton. “The alliance with Northstar provides a unique combination of local content and support along with Laredo’s many years of relevant experience. We are excited to be a part of the development of green energy and the new economic opportunities it is providing.”

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.