Cadeler Plans Third Foundation Installation Vessel for Offshore Wind

Cadeler foundation installation
Cadeler is planning a third wind foundation installation newbuild based on market demand (Cadeler)

Published Feb 16, 2024 6:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norway-based Cadeler is planning the construction of a third wind foundation installation vessel based on the continuing strong opportunities the company sees in the developing offshore wind industry. The vessel would be in addition to the six vessels the company currently has under construction and the four vessels in service. After completing the merger with Eneti in late 2023, Cadeler highlighted that it was becoming the largest operator of vessels specifically for the offshore wind market.

“Cadeler continues to see strong underlying demand for foundation installation services in offshore wind,” the company wrote in a stock exchange filing this week tied to a private placement of additional shares. They reported that demand for vessels is expected to outstrip supply starting in 2027 based on the current pipeline and backlog which stands at record levels. The company believes there are “health employment prospects” for its foundation installation vessels citing for example its existing contract for the installation at the UK’s Hornsea 3 project, which will consist of up to 231 offshore wind turbines and be completed in 2027.

In the filing, Cadeler reports that it signed a letter of intent with COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry after moving forward in November 2022 with the order for its second foundation installation vessel. Delivery of the first foundation vessel, Wind Ally, is scheduled for Q4 2025, and the second, Wind Ace, is expected in the second half of 2026.

The letter of intent was for either a foundation or turbine installation vessel and the company is now planning a third foundation vessel similar to the two currently under construction. They report the expected cost would be in the range of $390 to $410 million with expected delivery in the first quarter of 2027 while emphasizing that no agreement has been entered into and the terms could still change.

They point out that the foundation vessels will have unique features to enable them to handle the next generation of wind turbine foundations. Efficiency will be improved with the capacity to transport in a single trip up to six XL monopole foundations (each weighing approximately 2,300 to 2,600 tonnes).

The company currently has two of its legacy vessels and two from the merger with Eneti in service. In addition to the two foundation vessels on order, they are also building two P-Class turbine installation vessels, the first will be named Wind Peak and the second Wind Pace. These vessels will have a deck space of 5,600 square meters, a payload of over 17,600 tons, and a main crane capacity of above 2,500 tons at 53 meters, which means they can transport and install seven complete 15MW turbine sets per load or five sets of 20+ MW turbines. The vessels will have accommodations for 130 people. The first is due for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year, and the second one in mid-2025. 

Eneti also had two large turbine installation vessels on order, the Nessie and the Siren, due for delivery in Q1 and Q4 2025. They will also have 5,200 square meters of deck space and 2,600-ton main cranes.

The company is preparing for the order of the next installation vessel reporting it would use a portion of the approximately $166 million private placement to fund construction of the vessel. Cadeler looks to build on the opportunities that continue to emerge in the offshore wind sector.