CSM Energy (member of the Columbia Group) and engineering firm Hydrus have joined forces to assess and retrofit offshore support vessels (OSV) involved in offshore installations and operations, turning them into hybrid ships powered by battery and fuel.
The upgraded vessels will use significantly less fuel, reducing emissions and cutting maintenance costs for the diesel generators that power the ships.
Retrofitting existing vessels will be far quicker and much more cost-effective than building greener OSVs from scratch, according to a joint CSM and Hydrus Engineering statement on the expected demand for greener ships in the offshore sector.
“Building new vessels with a substantial or even an all-green profile will be significantly expensive and take several years before they are ready for service,” said Kyriakos Tsangaris, technical director at CSM Energy.
Lambros Nakos, partner at Hydrus Engineering, added: “The current order book for new OSVs has declined since 2016, with fewer than 50 vessels ordered since the beginning of 2020. Given that OSVs already in operation will likely run for another 25 years, retrofitting them is the best option for ensuring vessels in the offshore wind farm sector are eco-friendly.”
The OSV market has struggled in recent years because of the oversupply of vessels and the declining need for oil. But demand for these ships is expected to grow as investment in the offshore wind market – now worth 65bn USD compared to the offshore oil and gas sector, which is valued at 45bn USD – continues to rise.
Services include a feasibility assessment, pre-financing evaluation, budgeting and procurement control, engineering, retrofitting, supervision and commissioning – which, Tsangaris said, met the joint venture partners’ goal to “deliver a valuable asset in a rapidly growing market”.