The world’s first hybrid ‘daughter craft’ vessels, designed to support the offshore wind market, are to be built in the UK through a new multi-million pound deal.
Aberdeen-headquartered North Star Renewables has confirmed that the contract for its fleet design, developed in collaboration with Southampton-based naval architects Chartwell Marine, will be awarded to a UK shipyard in September.
The initial contract for two hybrid vessels will be built to complement North Star’s growing service offshore vessel (SOV) fleet and should be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
The hull form, equipment selection, innovation features and comfort are all focused specifically to suit the demands of offshore wind operations.
Daughter craft are used by the offshore wind industry to safely transfer technicians between the in-field SOV, where they live while working offshore, to the wind turbines to undertake routine or remedial maintenance. They are also used to support trips to shore and making deliveries in-field.
In addition, daughter craft also provide essential emergency safety and rescue cover.
This is a core 24/7 service that North Star has been delivering to the oil and gas sector in the North Sea for the past 40 years. The firm, which employs 1,400 personnel across the UK, has the world’s largest daughter rescue fleet, with 63 vessels on its books, often operating twin daughter crafts from a single vessel.
It also has the largest wholly-owned British fleet providing infrastructure support and currently services more than 60 locations and mobile installations in the North Sea.
Over the last two years, North Star’s teams in Newcastle, Lowestoft and Aberdeen have worked in close partnership with Chartwell Marine to produce a new daughter craft vessel design.
It introduces hybrid propulsion to market for the first time, along with increased sea state operability at wave heights of up a third higher than anything else currently available. The vessel also carries green technologies to reduce carbon emissions, configured for further improvements as the sector evolves.
The firm’s renewables director Andrew Duncan said: “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 SOV operator in the world with a fleet of hybrid daughter craft built right here in the UK.”
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