Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding began construction today on a 289-foot service operation vessel (SOV) for a Crowley-ESVAGT joint venture that will house and transport technicians to maintain U.S. offshore wind farms.
This vessel, for the joint venture CREST Wind, will operate under a long-term charter with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Today marked the ceremonial start of construction for the vessel, and senior leaders from the partner companies around the country came to Door County to witness the first pieces of steel being cut.
“We are excited to get started on this important vessel,” said Marco Galbiati, CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “The work that this vessel will support is critical to energy solutions here in the United States.”
“This vessel will support America’s goals of cleaner, renewable energy by providing an innovative, reliable and safe environment for those servicing the wind turbines off the U.S. coast,” said Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Wind Services. “We congratulate the women and men who led us to this milestone for this modern, high performing vessel that will help support next-generation energy solutions.”
SOVs are purpose-built vessels used to accommodate and transport wind-farm technicians to service and maintain wind turbines at sea. Crowley is an innovative U.S. maritime, energy and logistics solution company serving the offshore wind market, while Denmark-based ESVAGT is the leading provider of SOV services in Europe.
“We are delighted to help bring a leading SOV concept to the US market together with our partners and are looking forward to supporting the high-quality construction of this innovative vessel.” said Kristian O. Jakobsen, ESVAGT’s deputy CEO and head of operations.
The SOV will feature state-of the art technologies to augment safety, workability and comfort to support the operation and maintenance of wind installations. It will have modern accommodations for 80 crew and technicians. Consistent with federal law, the vessel will be U.S.- built and flagged. The ship will utilize the HAV 832 SOV design, made by HAV Design AS, of Norway, and it is considered one of the best in the industry.
The vessel is scheduled to enter service in 2026, when it will support the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project.