U.S.-based Green Shipping Line has announced an agreement with European marine engineer DEKC Maritime (DEKC) for the design of offshore wind shuttle vessels to be operated in the United States in compliance with the Jones Act.

The “Teaming Agreement” will build on DEKC’s existing multi-purpose vessel design in use in Europe known for being the ‘swiss army knife’ of offshore wind vessels. The one for GSL, named “Eleanor”, will be designed to transport offshore wind components, including towers, nacelles and blades, from a port to installation sites in a two-day cycle, cutting down on costs and production time by over 40 percent. The 364-ft vessels will be the first in the U.S. capable of transporting all components of a wind towers, and they can also be configured to perform rock dumping, scour protection, and offshore accommodation.

“DEKC’s extensive knowledge and capabilities provide GSL with an ideal partner to design our fleet of modern Jones Act feeder vessels, including our flagship Eleanor model,” said Percy R. Pyne IV, founding partner of GSL. “This agreement furthers our ability to provide efficient, proven, green solutions for offshore wind developers and component manufacturers in the U.S.”

This latest announcement follows a string of deals by New Jersey-headquartered GSL, including an agreement with Keystone Shipping Company to operate future vessels and a Teaming Agreement with Moran Iron Works for their construction. GSL says the “Eleanor”will be built at the Moran Iron Works shipyard in Onaway, Michigan and operated by Keystone Shipping along the U.S. East Coast. The design has already received approval in principle from the American Bureau of Shipping and the delivery is planned for as soon as mid-2023.

Jones Act feeder vessels will be critical to the construction of offshore wind farms in U.S. waters over the next decade. A Government Accountability Office report late last year warned that the U.S. currently lacks the specialized Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessels (WTIV) required to meet to the anticipated demand from the sector. Although one Jones Act WTIV is now under construction at Keppel AmFELS Brownsville, Texas, it won’t be nearly enough to devolop the number of projects planned for federal water off the U.S. East Coast.

As as solution to this shortage, the report offered a scenario where a foreign-flag WTIV would install turbines with components carried to the site from U.S. ports by Jones Act-compliant feeder vessels. In fact, the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, Vineyard Wind, has chosen to use a foreign-flagged wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) from Belgian-based DEME Offshore, while turbines and other components will be transported from shore Jones Act vessels supplied by Seattle-based FOSS Maritime.

“We are honored to be working with DEKC Maritime and the rest of our talented team of professionals including: Voith, Cranemaster, Moran Iron Works, Keystone Shipping, and Navis Naval Management and Consultancy on bringing a tried-and-true Jones Act compliant solution to support U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Pyne. “Our standards follow what our European partners have established. Using their vast experience as our roadmap, our international team will help the U.S. realize its offshore wind goals,” he added.

Source: G Captain