The emerging opportunities for the installation of offshore wind farms along with the growth in the size of the turbines are continuing to create opportunities in the shipbuilding market. Denmark’s Cadeler entered into a $345 million construction contract with Cosco Heavy Industries for its third new large jack-up installation vessel along with an option for yet another vessel. When completed, the new vessels will give the company the largest dedicated fleet of jack-up vessels in the offshore wind industry and unique capabilities to meet the emerging market opportunities.

In placing the order with Cosco, Cadeler cited the current limited supply of vessels capable of meeting the needs for the installation of large foundations and turbines for the offshore wind sector. The company said that they believe “there are good employment prospects due to strong underlying demand for foundation installations.” Cadeler reported that it is already in discussions for a contract for the newly ordered vessel with an extra-large monopile foundation installation project expected to begin in the North Sea in the first quarter of 2026.

“Developing our fleet is a key strategic priority to meet the increasing demand for installation capacity,” said Mikkel Gleerup, CEO of Cadeler. “We are proud once again to push the boundaries of our industry by providing the most efficient vessels to stakeholders developing increasingly complex projects.”

The new order is for the first of what the company is calling the F-class, which is similar in size to its X-class that is currently under construction at Cosco’s shipyard in Qidong, China. The new vessel, however, has the added capability of being quickly converted from large foundation installations to instead handle wind turbine generation installations. The option in the contract is for an additional vessel based on either design.

Both classes of ships will have 5,600 square meters of deck space and the ability to transport a payload of more than 17,600 tons, making them among the largest and most capable vessels for the offshore wind sector. The vessels will be able to transport and install seven complete 15MW turbine sets per load or five sets of 20+ MW turbines. The F-class will be able to transport up to six XL monopiles (weight 2,300-2,600mt each) per round-trip. While not providing specifications, the company also said the new vessel will have a bigger crane capacity than the other two vessels under construction.

Last week, Cadeler reported that it was undertaking a private placement of new shares to raise $90 million which be used to fund the new construction projects. The company said that it was in advanced discussions for the order completed today.

The first of the company’s new builds, an X-class vessel, is due for delivery in the third quarter of 2024 and has already been contracted to RWE for an installation project in the North Sea. The second X-class vessel is due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2025 and the new order is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Source: The Maritime Executive.