Danish Cadeler is having two offshore wind turbine installation vessels built in China. They are due to enter service in three years’ time. The ships are expected to be among the largest on the market and will be capable of installing 20+MW wind turbines.

Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry will build the duo for USD 651 million. The first will start work for turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa immediately after delivery, scheduled for the third quarter of 2024. The ship will assist with the transport and installation of 100 14-MW wind turbines for RWE’s Sofia wind farm in the British part of the Dogger Bank.

According to CEO Mikkel Gleerup, the so-called X-class vessels are designed to work in the world’s most difficult locations. Cadeler says that upon completion of the two newbuilds, the company will have the largest fleet in the industry in terms of loading capacity.

Gleerup: ‘Compared to the original specifications of the X-class vessels, our final design includes an upgraded jacking system and main crane. This is to better cater for the wind turbines of tomorrow taking into account the latest input provided from clients and partners.’

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Five 20+MW turbines in one go

The vessels will have a deadweight of 17,600 tonnes, a deck space of 5600m2, and a main crane capacity of above 2000 tonnes at 53 metres. The vessels will be able to transport and install seven complete 15MW turbine sets per load or five sets of 20+MW turbines, cutting down the number of trips needed for each project, thus accelerating installation speed and minimizing the carbon footprint.

The vessels will be equipped with a shore power connection, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to fifteen per cent, fuel efficient engines and optimised engine sizing, as well as a battery pack with capacity to reduce fuel consumption during crane operations and DP manoeuvring. The state-of-the art vessels will also include technology for the regeneration of power from the jacking system and cranes.

The construction of both X-class vessels will start immediately at COSCO’s shipyard in Qidong.

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