Japanese firm unveils next-gen installation vessel plans

Japanese construction contractor Shimizu is planning to build an offshore wind installation vessel capable of working with turbines with power ratings up to 12MW.

Shimizu expects to finish building the vessel in October 2022
Shimizu expects to finish building the vessel in October 2022

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Shimizu is investing JPY 50 billion ($461.5 million) in the vessel’s design and construction. It plans to start construction in August and expects the ship, with a self-elevating platform, to be completed in October 2022.

The vessel will be 50 metres wide, 142 metres long, have a 28,000-tonne payload and be capable of lifting 2,500 tonnes up to 158 metres, Shimizu claimed.

It will be capable of working in waters up to 65 metres deep and installing seven 8MW turbines or five 12MW machines in ten days, the Japanese corporation claimed.

Shimizu added it could be jacked up to withstand "extended Pacific Ocean swells".

It contracted Dutch company GustoMSC to examine and design the vessel’s specifications and will work with domestic shipyard Japan Marine United Corporation for shipbuilding.

Shimizu explained there were no Japanese turbine installation vessels with self-elevating platforms capable of working with units more than 8MW.

Therefore, if developers wanted to use high-end turbines in Japanese waters, they would have to charter vessels from Europe.

The company believes there the offshore wind market in Japan could potentially be worth JPY 5 trillion.

Late last year, Japan passed a law promoting offshore wind. The law came into force on 1 April and the country’s ministry of economy, trade and industry is now preparing regulatory details for auctions.

Shimizu has previously worked on Japan’s 7MW Fukushima floating demonstration wind farm.

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