ABS to class first ever Jones Act wind turbine installation vessel

Source: press release, 24 February 2021

‘Charybdis’ – next-generation turbine installation jack-up vessel
‘Charybdis’ – next-generation turbine installation jack-up vessel (illustration: GustoMSC)

The first ever Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), a key vessel for the development of the US offshore wind industry, will be built to ABS Class.

Now under construction by Keppel AmFELS, which is also undertaking the engineering and procurement for Dominion Energy, the 472-foot vessel is designed by GustoMSC to handle turbine sizes of 12 megawatt or larger and will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts. To be named Charybdis, the vessel will have accommodation for up to 119 crew and wind farm technicians. Seajacks will assist Dominion Energy with construction and operations oversight.

“ABS is the ideal partner for a highly specialised wind turbine installation vessel such as this for the US market. Our extensive knowledge of US regulations combined with offshore industry leadership means we are uniquely equipped to support this project and a range of other innovative vessels now being commissioned for US wind farms. ABS is committed to playing a significant role in the safe development of the US offshore wind industry,” says Matt Tremblay, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore.

Mohamed Sahlan, President of Keppel AmFELS, says, “We are pleased to be able to build the largest wind turbine installation vessel in the US for Dominion Energy and support the growing offshore wind industry. Keppel AmFELS has a solid track record and capabilities in a wide range of offshore vessels and we are also able to leverage the experience of our parent company, Keppel Offshore & Marine, in offshore renewables to provide a compelling construction solution for this milestone project.”

“Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly efficient turbine technologies,” says Mark D. Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Project Construction. “This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the US.”

Seajacks Chief Executive Blair Ainslie says, “This next-generation turbine installation jack-up vessel is vital to the safe and cost-effective deployment of offshore wind energy in the US. Seajacks operates a fleet of offshore installation jack-ups in Europe and Asia and is looking forward to developing the offshore wind supply chain in the US with our partners.”

Charybdis is just the latest vessel for the US offshore wind industry to be supported by ABS. The first US flagged Jones Act offshore wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) ever ordered will be built to ABS Class. ABS has also issued AIPs for two Jones Act SOVs to Vard and for a series of other wind support vessels from European designers.