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China’s First Dedicated Offshore Wind SOVs to be Designed by Ulstein

first SOVs of China offshore wind market
Ulstein is designed two classes of dedicated offshore wind service vessels for the CHinese market (Ulstein)

Published Jan 28, 2022 6:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

A collaboration between Ulstein Design & Solutions and China’s ZPMC will design and build the first service operation vessels (SOVs) specifically for China’s rapidly growing offshore wind energy industry. The design contract also marks Ulstein’s entry into the Chinese offshore wind market with the vessels which will be operated by the Shanghai Electric Windpower Group.

The first SOV project calls for the design and construction of two different vessels, both of which will incorporate Ulstein’s X-Bow and X-Stern concepts. The larger vessel will accommodate up to 100 people while the other is for 60 people and according to Ulstein will provide Shanghai Electric with a highly efficient and robust design specific to the needs of the Chinese market. Both designs will focus on optimizing their operational capacity, capability, and economy and with batteries, the vessels will provide a greener footprint when servicing the renewable energy segment.

“We are honored to be selected by Shanghai Electric and ZPMC to design the first SOVs in China,” said Johannes Røren, managing director at Ulstein Marine Services. “These designs will be a part of a new standard for future O&M operations in China.”

According to Ulstein, the usage of SOVs will significantly improve the efficiency of service operations at offshore wind farms in China, including the stages of construction support and O&M. The two designs will build on the company’s experience in the sector. Ulstein’s first dedicated offshore wind support vessel, then known as the Siem Moxie entered the European market in 2014. The vessels for Shanghai Electric include elements to provide technicians with safe and stepless access from the vessel to the wind turbines and ensure sufficient storage and well-organized logistics onboard the vessels.

“Close collaborations among Ulstein, ZPMC, and Shanghai Electric has set a strong foundation for the projects,” says Ma Chengbin, General Manager of Engineering Service Company at Shanghai Electric. “Shanghai Electric is the leading provider of offshore wind turbines in China, and with these two world-class SOVs, we believe we can bring more values to our clients and provide a safer working environment to our colleagues at sea.” 

With more than 50 percent market share, Shanghai Electric is the largest offshore wind turbine supplier in China and is also a large integrated equipment manufacturing enterprise. Last year, China added more than 2GW of offshore electric power generation giving it the largest installed base. China with 11.2 GW of installed offshore wind generation capacity surpassed the U.K. which currently has 10.2 GW of offshore wind power generation, although both countries plan the continued expansion of their offshore capabilities.