Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has granted Approval in Principle (AIP) for the design of a wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) featuring a previously-approved feeder barge system suitable for the U.S. market.

The WTIV is designed by jack-up design specialist Friede and Goldman (F&G) for China’s COSCO.

Although the design is suitable for all offshore wind markets, the WTIV can be equipped with F&G’s BargeRack feeder barge system to support Jones Act-compliant operations in the U.S. The BargeRack system would be removable for other markets.

F&G’s BargeRack technology was awarded an AIP from ABS in January. The concept is a WTIV that lifts feeder barges carrying wind turbine components out of the water, eliminating motion during installation and reducing costs compared to other feeder solutions. By using U.S.-flag coastwise qualified barges, the WTIV can also comply with the requirements of the Jones Act, making the concept suitable for the U.S. offshore wind market.

“This is a versatile system design capable of navigating port constraints and supporting offshore wind markets all over the world,” said Greg Lennon, ABS Vice President, Head of Global Offshore Wind. “It is great to see experienced designers like F&G bringing creative technical solutions as we embrace this global challenge. ABS is pleased to be able to add this project to the list of advanced new vessel developments our global team is supporting and that it will make another important contribution to the future of the offshore wind industry.”

The WTIV for COSCO will be capable of installing turbines of 15 MW and larger.

“F&G and COSCO have a successful history of collaboration, and this latest effort brings an experienced WTIV builder in COSCO and a seasoned jack-up designer in F&G together to maximize vessel capabilities catered to current and future market demands and trends,” said Dr. Yang Sun, F&G Vice President for the Asia Market.

The design is the latest advanced offshore wind vessel to be supported by ABS, following a subsea rock installation vessel and Charybdis, the first Jones Act-compliant WTIV now under construction. Both are being built to ABS class. In addition, the first U.S.-flagged Jones Act offshore wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) ever ordered will also be built to ABS Class, joining the first ABS-classed crew transfer vessel (CTV) in the U.S., Windserve Odyssey. ABS has also issued AIPs for a series of wind support vessels from various designers.

Source: gCaptain