Vard Marine (VARD) is doubling down on the U.S. offshore wind sector, having recently secured ABS Approval in Principle (AIP) for a second Jones Act construction service operations vessel (SOV) design.
The AIP awarded in June 2020 is for a customized version of the VARD 4 19 US SOV and follows an AIP for the VARD 4 07 US SOV granted in December 2019 — the first AIP awarded for a Jones Act SOV.
The VARD 4 19 US SOV is a larger design variant, designed for primary functions including accommodation, transferring technicians to installations as well as storing spare parts and tools for operations in U.S. offshore wind farms.
VARD said it continues to independently invest resources in Jones Act fit-for-purpose SOV designs in part to accelerate the design schedule for new construction as the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry begins to take off.
“We believe that the U.S. offshore wind market holds several promising opportunities for U.S. owners, designers and shipbuilders,” said Darren Truelock, Vice President, Vard Marine Houston. “The U.S. market seems to be moving quickly starting on the East Coast, so a purpose-built U.S. offshore wind Jones Act fleet is inevitable. This creates some challenges for U.S. designers and shipbuilders since the necessary SOVs need to be under construction now to support the developer’s schedules. Delivery schedules and price points over the next year will be tested and squeezed in order to bring the right vessels online at the right time and within budget.
“VARD is focusing on the U.S. SOV market since these vessels are within our expertise, and we can leverage our extensive Jones Act knowledge of the U.S. offshore service vessel (OSV) market in addition to our existing industry relationships and with shipbuilders.”
According to VARD, the new vessel is engineered to be environmentally friendly with a focus on low fuel consumption and ease of construction. Its state-of-the-art hull form designed for all weather conditions, together with the specified propulsion configuration, offers economical steaming, enhanced seakeeping abilities and excellent station keeping performance, the company said., adding that the vessel is optimized to reduce motions and accelerations in all degrees of freedom with the aim to increase operability and comfort.
The vessel will have the ABS Class notations + A1, OFFSHORE SUPPORT VESSEL (WIND-SC), +AMS, + ACCU, DPS-2, HAB(WB.).