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Knud E Hansen is designing a new mega-ship for Dutch company Van Oord, which will be used to install 20MW offshore wind foundations and turbines, and which will be capable of operation on methanol fuels, resulting in a very low CO2 footprint.

The rotor blades of the latest generation of wind turbines are already well over 100m long and the transport and installation requires larger ships. Van Oord’s new vessel will enable transport and installation of 20MW wind turbines. The new 175m offshore installation vessel will be purpose-built for the transport and installation of these foundations and turbines. With a crane supplied by the Dutch company Huisman it will lift more than 3,000t. The vessel has an advanced jacking system. Four legs, each measuring 126m, allow the vessel to be jacked up and to work in waters up to 70m deep.

Van Oord is committed to reducing CO2 emissions and to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Van Oord has ordered three LNG-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredgers, which will be completed in 2022. The new installation vessel will be able to run on methanol to reduce the ship’s CO2 footprint by more than 78%. In addition, the vessel will be equipped with an advanced active SCR emissions control technology to reduce NOx to an absolute minimum. An installed 5,000 kWh battery pack can take the peak loads and regenerate energy to reduce the fuel consumption (and corresponding emissions) further.

The vessel is being built by the Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China. The ship is expected to enter the market in 2024 and will operate under the Dutch flag. Van Oord has taken an option on a second vessel.

Pieter van Oord, CEO Van Oord, said: “This investment prepares us for the increase in scale in the offshore wind industry and allows us to maintain our leadership position.”

Arnoud Kuis, MD Offshore Wind, Van Oord, said: “Thanks to our experiences with the installation vessels Aeolus, MPI Resolution and MPI Adventure, we have a good grasp of working with jack-up installation vessels. Now we are going one step further – the new ship will be the largest of its kind. Compared to the Aeolus, this new version has 88% more deck space and over 80% more lifting capacity.”

Jaap de Jong, Director Ship Management, Van Oord, said: “To become carbon neutral by 2050, we look for new fuel technologies. We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact. Similar steps have already been made in our investment programme with the construction of three LNG-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredgers and the ordering of a new green cable-laying vessel.”


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