Smaller hybrid craft to support offshore wind market to be built in UK

New hybrid-powered vessels to support the offshore wind sector are to be built in the UK through a multi-million pound deal.

Aberdeen-headquartered North Star Renewables has confirmed that the contract for its “game-changing” fleet design, developed in collaboration with Southampton-based naval architect Chartwell Marine, will be awarded to a UK shipyard in September.

The initial contract for two hybrid “daughter” vessels will complement North Star’s growing service offshore vessel fleet and will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

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Smaller daughter craft are used by the offshore wind industry to safely transfer technicians to the wind turbines to undertake routine or remedial maintenance. They are also used to support trips to shore and making deliveries in-field.

North Star Renewables director Andrew Duncan quayside in front of one the firm’s D-class vessels with existing twin daughter craft. Picture: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media

In addition, the craft also provide essential emergency safety and rescue cover.

Renewables director Andrew Duncan said: “The UK has the world’s largest offshore wind market backed by an experienced and innovative supply chain. We are committed to providing local content opportunities where possible, through direct and indirect employment, partnerships and supply chain – our annual spend is tens of millions of pounds.

“Our relationship and collaboration with Chartwell Marine has ensured that we are bringing a transformational daughter craft design to the industry, using the latest available technologies to increase safety, performance, reliability, comfort and reduce emissions.

“This is an exciting period for our business, as we continue on this journey with Chartwell Marine towards becoming the first service offshore vessel operator in the world with a fleet of hybrid daughter craft built right here in the UK.”

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