Posted on November 9, 2022
With global plans for offshore wind energy development accelerating, investors continue to look for new opportunities to participate in the market. In the latest development, a U.S. private investment firm, Sandbrook Capital, has acquired a majority stake in Norway’s Havfram, a recently launched offshore wind services company.
The Norwegian company, which is transitioning from its historic business in offshore oil and gas, reports as part of the transaction that Sandbrook has committed $250 million of equity capital to Havfram that will be used to build a fleet of state-of-the-art vessels to service the growing need for installation of offshore wind turbines and foundations. The U.S. investment firm, which is dedicated to building climate infrastructure companies, reports it is in support of Havfram’s broader strategy to become the leading provider of services to the offshore wind industry.
“We have had a long-held thesis that large-scale growth in offshore wind is a fundamental step on the path to increasing the penetration of clean electricity globally. Critical to that growth is the creation of a strong supply chain,” said Alfredo Marti, co-founder and partner of Sandbrook Capital. “By partnering with Havfram’s vastly experienced team, we believe we are ideally placed to advance that goal and we look forward to helping them build a great company.”
Sandbrook highlights forecasts representing 24 GW of annual installation activity to achieve the global goal for 250 GW of offshore wind capacity, excluding China, by 2030. To allow for that pace of growth, the investors highlighted the industry requires significant investment in the global supply chain, and in particular, in next-generation WTIVs capable of installing very large turbines at heights of over 500 feet.
Last year, Havfram announced that it had developed plans for a fleet of vessels designed to support the adoption of offshore wind at scale, while significantly reducing the carbon footprint of installation activities. Working with institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives, the company signed a letter of intent with CIMC-Raffles to build a series of next-generation, state-of-the-art wind turbine installation vessels with the first vessel due for delivery in 2024. Havfram said it plans to operate several vessels in the global offshore wind market with both traditional jack-ups for turbine installation as well as a cost-effective feeder solution for the U.S. market in particular.
As part of the transaction, Havfram’s subsea activities will be separated into an independent company which will be wholly owned by Norwegian private investment firm HitecVision. Havfram had been majority-owned by HitecVision, a leading energy investor in the offshore industry, who will also remain a minority shareholder in Havfram.
In December 2020, the Norwegian company formerly known as Ocean Installer announced that it would be redirecting its future operations to focus on developing opportunities in the offshore wind energy sector. Havfram was later spun out of Havfram AS (formerly Ocean Installer) to focus on next-generation turbine installation vessels capable of servicing 20 MW-plus offshore wind turbines. Havfram AS currently operates construction support vessels for subsea construction and has an agreement to introduce in mid-2023 a pipe laying vessel currently being built in China.