North Star is aiming to commission up to 40 new offshore wind vessels by 2040 (Source: VARD)

Vard to build more vessels for offshore wind market

Vard has won an order for up to four commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs) from UK-based North Star, which operates the largest wholly UK-owned fleet in the North Sea.

The latest CSOVs, with DP2 capability, will be built to a Vard 4 22 design developed specifically for North Star by the shipbuilder’s naval architects at Vard Design in Ålesund. The 95m-long ships will have optimised hull lines for fuel efficiency and comfort on board, methanol-ready hybrid propulsion systems incorporating batteries, and hotel-grade accommodation for 111 persons in 95 cabins. Stepless walk-to-work systems will operate between 17m and 32m above sea level.

The deal marks a return by North Star to the Fincantieri-owned shipbuilder. In 2021, the owner ordered four service operation vessels (SOVs) at Vard’s Vietnam yard. Three are due for delivery this year, and a fourth will be commissioned early in 2024. These vessels are to be deployed on the world’s largest wind farm, Dogger Bank.

Matthew Gordon, North Star CEO, commented: "We are thrilled to be expanding our offshore wind fleet through further building contracts with Vard … one of the world’s most well-respected, high-quality shipyard groups, with an unrivalled track record for reliability in the C/SOV market. We have built an excellent relationship over recent years, allowing us to bring high quality vessels to the market on time.

"Ensuring speed of delivery for these ships was a key factor in our decision to select Vard as our continued building partner, demonstrating our commitment to building a versatile and leading service capability to meet the needs of our offshore wind clients," he added.

Hulls for the first two firm vessels will be built at one of Vard’s shipyards in Romania before transferring to Norway for outfitting and completion. Delivery of the first two ships is scheduled for delivery during the first half of 2025.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore