CREST, a Crowley and ESVAGT’s US joint venture, has chosen HAV Design to develop a newbuild service operation vessel (SOV) destined for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.

The contract marks the US breakthrough for HAV Design, which becomes the first European ship designer to develop an SOV for the US market.

The USA aspires to add 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. According to class society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and other industry experts, this massive build-out will require more than 100 U.S. vessels.

“We have designed and developed numerous SOVs for use in demanding offshore climates, but this is the first time we are designing a vessel for the US market. We are confident in the operational benefits our vessel design brings to the table, so we believe that this contract can open the door for further work in the USA,” says Gisle Vinjevoll Thrane, vice president of sales at Norway-based HAV Design.

The newbuild hybrid vessel will be HAV 832 SOV design and will be constructed by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. HAV Design’s contract is with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

The ABS-class vessel will be 88 metres long and 17.6 metres wide. She can carry 20 crew and 60 special personnel and sail under US flag. The ship will go into service in 2026.

ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea and a market leader in offshore wind solutions. The company has a fleet of over 40 vessels and approximately 1,200 offshore and onshore employees. It is recognised as the market leader and largest operator of SOVs in Europe.

“This is the 12th SOV that ESVAGT is developing together with HAV Design. We know the challenges of getting personnel safely from the vessel to the turbines, and our long-term collaboration with HAV Design is part of this competence base,” says Kristian Ole Jakobsen, DCEO in ESVAGT.

US-based Crowley and Danish shipowner ESVAGT has established a joint venture to bolster purpose-built Jones Act vessel availability to support the emerging offshore wind energy market in the USA. Consistent with the requirements of the Jones Act, Crest will be the Owner of the vessel, Crowley will operate the SOV with U.S mariners, while ESVAGT will provide technical advice on the design, construction, and operation of these vessels based on their vast experience with high performance with this specific vessel type.

“We have designed a number of vessels, including SOVs, for ESVAGT in Europe in the past. They are highly familiar with the HAV 832 SOV design and the operational benefits it offers. We look forward to cooperating with them in the US too,” adds Vinjevoll Thrane.

HAV Design has not disclosed the value of its contract.

Following completion, the newbuild SOV will go on charter for Dominion Energy for its massive 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, including 176 wind turbine generators provided by Siemens Gamesa. Once online, the project is expected to provide enough clean energy to power up to 660,000 homes at rated wind speed, avoiding more than 5 million tonnes per year of carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel-based power generation.

HAV Design, a subsidiary of HAV Group ASA, listed on Euronext Growth Oslo, is headquartered in Fosnavåg, Norway.

Image source: Courtesy of HAV Design

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