VARD has won contracts for the design and construction of two commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs) for British infrastructure support vessel operator North Star. The agreement includes an option for two additional ships.

North Star employs 1300 crew and onshore personnel and owns the largest wholly UK-owned fleet engaged in the North Sea. The firm has committed to delivering forty offshore wind ships by 2040 to meet the evolving demand of offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) logistical support across the UK and Europe.

Partners Group, a global private markets firm, acquired North Star in 2022.

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VARD designed its VARD 4 22 design, in close collaboration with Vard Design in Ålesund, Norway, especially for North Star. They feature the latest hull design optimised for low fuel consumption and resistance, as well as high operability and comfort. In addition, the ships will be equipped with new methanol-ready hybrid-propulsion solutions and an increased number of single cabins, providing hotel quality accommodation for the technicians working in field.

CSOVs are highly versatile platforms for all offshore windfarm support operations, focusing on onboard logistics, comfort, large storage capacities and superior operability. North Star’s design is prepared for future operation on methanol, providing a sustainable option. Furthermore, they are also equipped with a high-performance daughter craft with space for a second to suit clients’ operational needs.

The new CSOVs will be equipped with technology from Vard Electro’s flexible SeaQ portfolio, covering solutions for power, control, bridge and navigation, and communication. The SeaQ package constitutes a great advantage and by utilising battery technology for hybrid operations, the SeaQ delivery facilitates for even smarter, and more energy-efficient operations for reduced emissions and fuel consumption.

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Delivery in 2025

The hulls of the agreed first two SOVs will be built at one of VARD’s yards in Romania and outfitted, commissioned, and delivered from one of the yards in Norway. The delivery of the initial CSOV fleet is scheduled for the first half of 2025.

These vessels are the next in a series of orders North Star has contracted with VARD so far. In 2021, the firm placed four SOV newbuild orders with VARD in Vietnam, all of which will support the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, on long term charters. The first three ships will commence operations this year, ahead of schedule, with the final to be delivered in 2024.

CSOV technical information

  • CSOVs length of approximately 95 meters and a beam of about 19,5 meters.
  • Stepless walk to work system capable of working from 17 to 32 meters above sea
  • State-of-the-art DP2 positioning and seakeeping systems.
  • Space for two daughter crafts
  • Maximum transit speed of 14 knots
  • Hybrid power generation
  • 95 cabins for 111 persons on board

Picture: North Star’s offshore wind portfolio of VARD built CSOVs and SOVs.