Australian shipbuilder Strategic Marine has started 2012 strongly, signing contracts to build eight 20 metre offshore wind farm crew transfer vessels (including options) for the European market.
The company will also be establishing a Service Network in Europe to support the vessels it will be supplying to clients in the region. The vessels will be managed by Njord Offshore, a subsidiary of Norse Management UK, which has a long history in the marine industry. Strategic Marine's Chief Marketing Officer, Terry O'Connor said the 20 metre catamarans were designed by world-renowned ship designer BMT Nigel Gee and will be built at the company’s Singapore shipyard. "We are absolutely thrilled that the management team at Njord Offshore chose Strategic Marine to build their fleet of offshore wind farm support vessels," Mr O'Connor said.
"The signing of these contracts fulfils our aim of entering the rapidly expanding offshore wind farm support vessel market in Europe and sets us on our ultimate path to become the market leader for this type of vessel. Strategic Marine has a vast amount of experience in building boats for the offshore oil and gas sector, which we can draw-on to provide high quality, high speed, reliable vessels to meet the needs of the offshore wind farm industry." When delivered later this year, the multipurpose vessels will be among the most sophisticated in the market, built to DNV Class Rules (+IAI HSLC R2 Wind Farm Service 1). Each vessel will be powered by twin MTU 8V2000M72 engines and be capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots.
Tom Mehew, commercial Director of Njord Offshore said the company was delighted to be building its vessels with Strategic Marine. "The vessels' design and features incorporate feedback from all levels of the European offshore windfarm industry and we believe that Strategic Marine's experience in building high speed, high quality aluminium craft, makes it the ideal partner to deliver these vessels." BMT Nigel Gee’s Technical Director, Ed Dudson said: "The signing of these contracts cements the Teaming Agreement between Strategic Marine and BMT Nigel Gee in September 2011.
"This 20 metre boat is the first in a range of offshore wind farm support vessels developed specifically for Strategic Marine. The design is based on a well proven hull form that encompasses excellent fuel economy as well as superior seakeeping," Mr Dudson said.