What is believed to be the world’s first green fuels vessel for offshore wind operations will be launched in 2024 off the UK east coast, as the result of a ground-breaking agreement between Ørsted and ESVAGT. Now the two companies are expanding their partnership on green offshore operations by signing an agreement for a second green service operation vessel.
The agreement is for a sister vessel to the world’s first methanol-powered service operation vessel (SOV), which was announced in 2022, further emphasising the companies’ commitment to carbon emissions reduction in the offshore wind supply chain. The SOV will be ready for launch in 2026, where it will operate from Ørsted’s UK East Coast Hub on a 10-year contract.
The new SOV will be powered by dual fuel engines capable of operating on renewable e-methanol produced from renewable energy and biogenic carbon, which should lead to a yearly carbon emissions reduction of approximately 4500 tonnes. Ørsted has established itself as a leader in the field of green maritime fuels by taking Europe’s largest final investment decision on a renewable e-methanol facility, FlagshipONE in Sweden, and expects to supply its own methanol for both SOVs. Reputedly, several other maritime companies have placed orders for methanol-powered vessels, demonstrating that the demand for green fuels is materialising rapidly.
Ørsted targets to become carbon-neutral in its energy generation and own operations by 2025, and is working towards its science-based target of reaching net-zero emissions across the full value chain by 2040.
ESVAGT pioneered the SOV concept and has continued its approach to running what it believes to be an energy efficient, safe marine operation. Hull design, engine configuration, multi-model transfer options, crew training, digitisation and alternative fuels are ‘green transition’ options being explored by ESVAGT.
Over the past two years, Ørsted has built up a diverse portfolio of green fuel projects, three of which focus on producing e-methanol for maritime transport. The portfolio includes FlagshipONE in Sweden, which is under construction and which will produce 50 000 tonnes of e-methanol per year from 2025. Additional projects include ‘Project Star’ on the US Gulf Coast, which will supply 300 000 tonnes of e-methanol for container logistics company A.P. Moller–Maersk’s fleet of zero-emissions vessels, and the ‘Green Fuels for Denmark’ project in Copenhagen, where Ørsted is working with major Danish players in heavy transport, including shipping.
Salient features of the new SOV – overall length 93.00 m, beam (width) 19.60 m, maximum draught 6.50 m, speed 14 knots, accommodation for 124 persons, and helideck diameter 18m.