World’s first hybrid daughter craft for offshore wind to be built in UK

The world’s first hybrid daughter craft vessels designed to support the offshore wind market are to be built in the UK through a new multi-million-pound deal.

Aberdeen-headquartered North Star Renewables has confirmed that the contract for its fleet design, developed in collaboration with Southampton-based naval architects Chartwell Marine, will be awarded to a UK shipyard in September.

Daughter craft are used by the offshore wind industry to transfer technicians between the in-field SOV, where they live while working offshore, to the wind turbines to undertake routine or remedial maintenance.

For the first time, hybrid propulsion is being introduced into daughter craft, whilst, the company says, setting a new standard for safe operations with an increased sea state operability at wave heights of up to 1.7m Hs – 33 per cent.

The vessel also features green technologies to reduce carbon emissions, configured for further improvements in green technologies as the sector evolves. They are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

The craft are also used to support trips to shore and making deliveries in-field, and provide essential emergency safety and rescue cover,

The company’s renewables director, Andrew Duncan, says: “The UK has the world’s largest offshore wind market backed by an experienced and innovative supply chain. We are committed to providing local content opportunities where possible, through direct and indirect employment, partnerships, and supply chain – our annual spend is tens of millions of pounds.

“Our relationship and collaboration with Chartwell Marine have ensured that we are bringing a transformational daughter craft design to the industry, using the latest available technologies to increase safety, performance, reliability, comfort and reduce emissions.

“This is an exciting period for our business, as we continue on this journey with Chartwell Marine towards becoming the first SOV operator in the world with a fleet of hybrid daughter craft built right here in the UK.”

“We’re pleased to progress the next stages of the daughter craft design with North Star,” says Andy Page, managing director of Chartwell Marine. “The design builds on learnings from our low emission research and development project funded by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator, and, working with North Star, we have been able to develop an effective hybrid vessel that will live up to the demands of offshore wind operations.

“Above all, we aim to furnish the sector with vessel designs that are safe, cost-effective, and sustainable in equal measure – making the most of advances in propulsion technology, but also preserving the key ingredients that constitute effective performance for offshore wind developers and operators.”

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