The rapid growth of the offshore power generation sector is creating new opportunities for the creative reuse of offshore skills and vessels from the oil and gas sector which is experiencing a long-term downturn. As an example of the opportunities, a 2021 startup for the offshore sector, Norwind Offshore, in collaboration with Vard, transformed a seven-year-old offshore vessel into a new Service Operation Vessel (SoV) for offshore wind.
The surrender and renaming of the ship to North Wind Breeze took place on May 30 in Norway about six months after arriving at the shipyard. For Norwind, which was set up last year by Farstad, Volstad and Kleven, the ride was a faster route to commissioning while the company is also building new vessels designed for the wind sector.
“With VARD, we based our project on an existing vessel, and specifically designed and converted the vessel for global service and maintenance operations at offshore wind farms,” said Svein Leon Aure, CEO of Norwind Offshore. “This is our first ship, and we can’t wait to see the ship leave the shipyard and enter service.”
The 4,100 dwt vessel was acquired in the fall of 2021 after previously operating in MMA responder. The vessel was originally built as a platform supply vessel developed for the oil and gas market. She operated in the oil and gas market in Asia and Australia and arrived in Norway in November 2021 where the extensive rebuilding and equipping process began.
VARD in a short time carried out the conversion where the vessel, which is 268 feet long, was fitted with larger and modernized accommodations for 60 passengers. Engineering work included the installation of a large battery power system to reduce emissions. An advanced walkway has also been temporarily installed, which will be replaced later this year with a new, larger walkway system.
“North Wind Breeze is a good example of how we can use existing ships, rebuild them, take on board new equipment and environmentally friendly technologies, and adapt them to new markets,” said Dag Vikestrand, shipyard manager. by Vard Brattvaag.
Obtain North Wind Breeze delivered on time was very important to the new owner, Vard noted. The new company signed the contract for the sale and conversion of the vessel in October 2021, and in less than nine months, it put its first vessel into service. Norwind has also signed a contract for the design and construction of two CSOVs (Commissioning Service Operations Vessels) with Vard at the same time, but these vessels will not be delivered before 2023 and 2024. Norwind has recently ordered two additional vessels from Vard including delivery is scheduled for 2024. and 2025 and has an option for two more all based on the VARD 4 19 design, developed by Vard Design in Ålesund. These vessels are specifically designed for global offshore wind farm service and maintenance operations.
Norwind pointed out that a contract has already been secured for the first vessel and that it will begin operations immediately after delivery. The renewable energy company Ørsted has contracted the North Wind Breeze for its project to develop the largest offshore wind farm in the world – Hornsea 2 – on the British continental shelf.