Posted on March 30, 2022
Empire Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Equinor and bp, has awarded a contract to Maersk Supply Service for charter of its newbuild wind installation vessel (WIV), according to the company’s release. This vessel, together with US constructed barges and tugs built and operated by Kirby Offshore Wind, will be used for the installation of the project’s Vestas V236-15MW turbines.
The newbuild vessel is planned to be ready for operation for Empire Wind I and II in the mid-2020s. Maersk has developed the vessel concept, which will deliver installation of wind turbines by a Jones Act compliant spread.
“Equinor has worked closely with Maersk for a number of years on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, where we have employed several of their jack-up rigs. Now Equinor and bp are excited to cover new ground together, with the first-of-its-kind wind installation vessel. We will build on all parties’ long history of offshore experience as we extend our collaboration into the renewables business,” says Mette H. Ottøy, chief procurement officer.
Empire Wind 1 and 2, part of the company’s portfolio of offshore wind projects off the US east coast, are key building blocks to accelerate profitable growth in renewables and to deliver on Equinor’s ambition to install 12-16 GW of renewables capacity by 2030.
Maersk’s vessel will be supported by two newbuilt tugs and barges, which will transport the wind turbine components from the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to the Empire Wind lease area, located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island, New York. The barges and tugs will be constructed and operated by Kirby Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Kirby Corporation. The concept ensures that the vessel can remain in operation while the barges transport turbine components from the staging port on a continual basis.
When completed, Empire Wind 1 and 2, will power more than 1 million New York homes. The project will be a major contributor to meeting US and New York State’s energy transition goals.