Asia’s First Dedicated SOV for Offshore Wind Support Delivered 

first Asian SOV for offshore wind in Taiwan
TSS Pioneer is the first SOV designed and built specifically for Asia nd will operate in Taiwan (Vard)

Published Mar 11, 2022 8:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Asia’s first specifically designed and built SOV has completed construction and was handled over to its owners. The vessel, TSS Pioneer, is registered in Taiwan and was designed and equipped for the complicated and harsh environment in the Taiwan Strait.

Built by the VARD Vung Tau shipyard in Vietnam, the TSS Pioneer is 280 feet long and has accommodations for up to 90 passengers and crew. The vessel is approximately 6,000 gross tons and is outfitted with a diesel-electric propulsion system equipped with a Corvus ESS providing reductions in fuel consumption. The system will permit the battery to achieve load leveling and peak shaving.



According to Mitsui O.S.K., which owns the vessel in partnership with Ta Tong Marine Co., the vessel will provide optimal offshore working conditions for the technicians servicing the 900 MW Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms, the first large-scale and far shore wind farms in Taiwan. Among the features designed into the SOV is a dynamic positioning system to continuously ensure a safe distance between the vessel and the offshore wind turbine platforms, and a Walk to Work gangway with a motion compensation function that absorbs hull movement due to wind and wave action. It is also outfitted with a 3D motion-compensated crane. The SOV will allow the technicians to stay offshore for extended periods. 

TSS Pioneer was delivered on March 8 and is currently heading to Taiwan where it will complete commissioning. It will then begin operating on a 15-year charter to Ørsted, which is building the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms located approximately 20 to 30 miles offshore. The first phase of the wind farm will consist of 111 Siemens Gamesa 8 MW wind turbines along with two offshore substations. These two projects are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2022 while Ørsted is also planning and developing additional phases of the project.

Taiwan is focusing on wind energy and solar power. Offshore wind power is expected to be one of Taiwan’s main renewable energy sources with more than 5.6 GW of installed capacity of offshore wind licensed between 2020 and 2025. An additional 15 GW offshore wind capacity is planned from 2026 to 2035.