Vard to Build Cable Ship for Toyo as It Looks to Expand Offshore Role

Vard cable layer
Vard looks to expand it role in construction in the offshore market by building a customized vessel for the Japanese market for Toyo Construction (Vard)

Published Dec 11, 2023 8:02 PM by The Maritime Executive


The growth in the offshore wind business is continuing to create opportunities in the shipbuilding sector with Fincantieri’s Vard group reporting that it has positioned the sector as a business growth driver in its medium-term business plan. The group sees a strong demand for specialized vessels both for established players in the business as well as companies that are seeking to build their presence in emerging markets.

The board of a leading Japanese construction company, Toyo Construction, on December 8 approved the order of a specialized hybrid construction vessel designed to help it position in Japan’s emerging offshore wind sector. Vard confirms that it has received an order valued at more than $200 million for the customized vessel.

The design based on Vard’s 9 15 class is a specialized cable lay and construction vessel similar to one that Vard will also be building for Van Oord. However, the shipbuilder highlights that the hull design is being optimized to suit the construction conditions in Japan. The vessel will be able to operate both in shallow water and deep ocean for floating offshore wind power generation as well as DC power transmission projects. Toyo highlights that the design will make it possible to perform construction at a high rate even in difficult sea areas.

“The cable layer will be a modern and complex vessel of high standards built according to Japanese regulations primarily for the Japanese offshore windfarm and international market, making it a unique opportunity for both Toyo and Vard to be established as a key player in the Japanese windfarm market,” notes Torgeir Haugan, SVP Sales & Marketing of Vard.

The vessel, which will be 492 feet (150 meters) in length, with cable carrying capacity of 9000 tons, is designed for Inter-array, HVAC export, and interconnector cable lay as well as cable burial operation and construction work. In addition to being used as a self-propelled cable-laying vessel, the vessel has a high-performance crane and a large deck area, making it suitable for multi-purpose applications such as ground-based foundation work, floating offshore wind mooring work, and marine resource-related projects. The vessel will also have a 4-point mooring system and helideck installed and a 250-ton boom crane. It will have accommodations for 90 people.

To address sustainability concerns, Vard highlights the vessel will have a hybrid power plant. It will have a maximum transit speed of 13 knots powered by five main gensets as well as two batteries. The large battery pack and a shore supply connection will permit the vessel to reduce or eliminate emissions in and near port.

“This new order confirms our reference role in the offshore energy sector, which represents a sector in continuous growth in line with the expectations of the business plan,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri. “In this context, Fincantieri is able to offer increasingly innovative solutions through Vard, which with this contract expands its customer base also in the East thanks to the international leadership achieved in cable-laying vessels.”

Toyo looks to use the vessel to further increase its positioning in the emerging offshore industry in Japan. They highlight the versatile design which they believe will help it to realize opportunities as the market expands. The vessel will be built by Vard and will be delivered in the second quarter of 2026.