Vessels go supersize

In WindPower monthly’s ‘Vessels go supersize’, Alun Roberts is quoted as saying “A large proportion of vessels are not particularly well-equipped to install these larger turbines,” he told Windpower Monthly. “Many of them will need to upgrade.”. The article continues “Roberts says that in the past there was not enough discussion between turbine makers and vessel operators and many installation vessels were quickly rendered obsolete. “You can spend a great deal of money on a vessel, so you need to know where the market is going. This has been a genuine problem before.

“Developers can lower risk for vessel investment,” Roberts adds, but warns that the sector does face something of a conundrum. New vessels or upgrades require investment, but the smaller number of larger turbines being installed, together with the effect of competitive tendering for offshore developments, is driving down costs and margins.

As a result, the smaller vessel operators might be squeezed out. Larger companies, with greater financial muscle, a more diverse fleet and a wider range of services on offer — such as Van Oord and Boskalis, for example — could gain an advantage, Roberts suggests.

The turbine-installation vessel sector is unlikely to see new entrants, he believes, except through acquisitions, and these are more likely to come from fields such as dredging rather than the oil and gas sectors. “Offshore wind contractors compete on the capability of their design. Having the best vessel in the market is a huge advantage in a way that it hasn’t been for oil and gas,” he says.

You can read the article in full here: Vessels go supersize