Norway’s Havfram Plans U.S. Wind Installation Vessel
Norway’s Havfram continues its efforts to reformulate its business to increase its emphasis like other companies on the emerging offshore wind sector. The company said it is finalizing an order for a large wind turbine installation vessel. The company is also targeting entry into the U.S. market to take advantage of the planned wind farms around the United States.
Havfram plans to build a jack-up installation vessel that will have the capacity to operate on zero-emission fuels. The company said the vessel is designed to handle the largest wind turbines currently on the market, with a capacity of 20 MW or more. The industry trade publication Offshore Engineer reports that several Asian shipyards are currently bidding for the contract, which the company hopes to finalize before the end of the year. The vessel is expected to enter service by 2025, by which time the company expects the majority of its revenues to also be from the offshore energy sector.
The company, which said it is also looking at the opportunities for similar vessels in the European market, had previously announced that it was working with VARD to develop one of the world’s most advanced installation vessels for offshore wind turbines. They described the specialized vessel as having the ability and capacity to install turbine components of 1,000 tons at a height of nearly 500 feet.
Previously known as Ocean Installer, the company changed its name in December 2020 to Havfram (Norwegian for Ocean Forward), saying the name change reflected its increased commitment to offshore wind. Current operations within subsea oil and gas projects are continuing, intending to transition the business to become a leading company within the installation and development of offshore wind projects.
To further its goals in the offshore energy sector, Havfram recently announced it was partnering with two of Europe’s large energy companies, RWE and NTE. Together the three companies plan to participate in the Norwegian government’s tender process for floating offshore wind energy, which will begin later this year.
Other efforts underway toward the transition include involvement in a project to design and install what the company terms “an innovative new style of floating offshore wind turbine.” Efforts are moving forward to install an offshore demonstration model while the company has also been working on a tidal turbine pilot project off the coast of France.
In seeking to transition from its traditional business to the emerging opportunities in offshore wind energy, Havfram followed several other companies seeking to reposition themselves. The most surprising move was the 2020 announcement that Scorpio Bulkers was selling off its entire fleet and renaming Eneti. The new company said it would build a Jones Act compliant wind installation vessel and in August 2021 announced plans to acquire Seajacks to complete its transition from dry bulk.