In a move that will be seen as a signal of E.ON’s long term commitment to the offshore market in Europe, E.ON Climate & Renewables and MPI-Vroon have signed a 6 year charter for the MPI Discovery, a specialist vessel used in the construction of offshore wind farms.

The MPI Discovery has six jack-up legs, which lift the whole vessel out of the water to provide a stable platform from which foundations and wind turbines can be efficiently and safely installed. It can work in far harsher weather conditions than vessels previously used by the industry, which suggests that the time and cost of building offshore wind farms can be dramatically reduced.

The vessel can operate in waters 40 metres deep, its main crane can lift 1000 tonnes and it also has 50 tonne capacity auxiliary crane. 112 people can work on board and the vessel has its own coffee shop, gym and sauna to help alleviate the strictures of working in the challenging and sometimes harsh offshore environment.

Michael Lewis, md Europe at E.ON C&A said: “Reducing the costs of offshore wind power is a key priority for E.ON, and chartering a high quality purpose built vessel on a long term basis is a key part of our strategy. We believe the MPI Discovery is the best vessel on the market today and it will play a key role in enabling us to construct our offshore projects both faster and more cost effectively”.