RWE, the world’s second largest offshore wind player, and maritime support provider Acta Marine have entered a long-term vessel supply agreement that paves the way for the decarbonisation of offshore wind farm operations.
The agreement is to build and operate two ‘green’ service operation vessels (SOVs), which will be among the first in the world to be built capable of being powered by methanol and batteries, with the potential to save up to 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
The vessels will support the day-to-day operations and maintenance of two of RWE’s largest offshore wind projects, the under construction 1.4 gigawatt Sofia Offshore Wind Farm and the newly operational 857 megawatt Triton Knoll. Both vessels will be methanol ready from day one.
The SOVs will be based out of RWE’s Grimsby Hub and support the long-term operations of the offshore assets, representing an enduring commitment to the region. The agreement will bring further investment into the port through the use of vessel support and maintenance services, local fuelling, pilotage and other ancillary services.
Director of Offshore Wind Operations at RWE Renewables, Thomas Michel said, “This investment in low-emissions capable service operations vessels demonstrates our commitment to not only playing a major role in decarbonising the UK’s energy mix, but also to supporting the green transition of our broader activities across the marine industry. We are proud to take this step forward for our North Sea operations and anticipate this being the first of similar investments in support of our other offshore projects.”
Acta Marine will begin constructing the vessels at Tersan Shipyards in Turkey during the second quarter of 2023 and they are expected to begin operation from the Port of Grimsby in early 2025 and 2026.
Acta Marine builds on a strong track record in offshore wind construction and operations support. The SX216 newbuild vessels designed by Ulstein Design and Solutions feature the Twin X-Stern® improving fuel efficiency, increasing dynamic positioning capability and reducing motions and noise, making the offshore stay more comfortable, efficient and safe for technicians.
Rob Boer, Acta’s Managing Director said: “We are very pleased to partner with RWE in deploying two of our new SOVs over a 12 year basis. The ability to use e-methanol from day one of our operations with RWE drives the reduction of greenhouse gases significantly.
"The vessels have been designed for high performance in-field agility whilst reducing power consumption as much as possible. Whilst contributing to the decarbonisation of marine offshore operations, we will be proud to deliver best in class hospitality services on board our SOVs combined with leading operational performance and safe transfer of technicians to the wind farms.”