NYK Orders First Domestically-Built CTV Anticipating Offshore Wind Demand

Japan CTV wind
Rera As introduced in 2023 is Japan's largest and NYK's first CTV for support of offshore wind farms (NYK)

Published Feb 21, 2024 7:09 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Japanese shipping industry looks to realize opportunities as the country moves forward with offshore wind energy as one of the government’s pillars of its future energy initiatives. NYK, one of Japan’s oldest shipping companies is moving aggressively into the sector reporting it plans to invest more than $260 million between 2023 and 2026 into the offshore wind power value chain.

One of the elements of NYK’s plan is the building of dedicated vessels to serve the emerging industry. The company reports last month it placed an order for its first crew transfer vessel to be built in Japan in an effort both for the wind industry and to support Japanese shipbuilding. The new CTV will be the third owned by NYK in Japan, following the introduction in April 2023 of the Rera As, a CTV operating in the Ishikari Bay New Port for the offshore wind farm located off Hokkaido, and one of the first in Japan.

Japan so far has mostly developed near-shore wind farms launching the first commercial-scale operations late in 2022 and 2023. While wind energy is a major element of the government’s plans, one of the challenges Japan faces is the water depth and underwater topography. As such, floating wind turbines are likely to play a significant role in Japan’s wind industry. The news outlet NHK reported today that the government is moving forward with the first areas for floating wind farms and is expected in May 2024 to choose the companies to develop the first two sites.

NYK says the construction of offshore wind power facilities in Japan is expected to begin in earnest around 2026. They expect the demand for CTVs to grow as the industry develops. In 2020, NYK formed a partnership with Northern Offshore Services of Sweden, one of the largest operators of CTVs in Europe.

Under the partnership, NYK will domestically produce the hull form for the CTV based on the designs developed by Northern Offshore. The new CTV will be built by Kosaba Shipbuilding Corporation in Kamaishi City. It will be approximately 145 tons and nearly 92 feet with a capacity for 12 people. The shipyard highlights that it is well suited for the work as it manufactures ships with a focus on light aluminum alloy ships. They highlight that currently there are only a few companies in Japan that build aluminum ships.

NYK reports it will seek to continue to build CTVs in Japanese shipyards as part of its strategy to meet anticipated demand as the wind sector ramps up. The company which traces its origins to 1885 and today has a fleet of more than 800 vessels views the wind sector as a strong growth opportunity and aligned with its new value initiatives for low carbon and decarbonization through green businesses.