BP and EnBW are collaborating with research and development experts at the UK-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to investigate using zero- or low-emission support vessels at offshore wind farms.
The two companies are jointly developing three offshore wind projects in two UK locations – ‘Morven’, a potential 2.9GW lease area off the east coast of Scotland, and ‘Morgan’ and ‘Mona’ within a 3GW area in the Irish Sea.
The offshore wind farms will require maintenance support from Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) and Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs).
According to ORE Catapult, this feasibility study will provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with introducing new fuels into offshore wind SOVs and recommend appropriate technology developments and supply chain opportunities.
The four-month project will analyze infrastructure, current regulations, supply chains, and technology such as internal combustion engines, fuel cells, and batteries, and fuels such as biodiesel, electric, and hydrogen, before providing recommendations for support vessels.
Lauren Hadnum, Clean Maritime Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “The rapid growth in offshore wind across the UK is driving the need for innovation across all aspects of industry, including accelerating decarbonization of O&M vessels.”
“The commitment from partners to investigate both net zero technology and local build for these vessels is an exciting opportunity for UK industry, which aligns with the ambitions outlined in the Refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy. We hope this piece of work will lay the foundation for future EnBW and BP SOV developments as well as informing wider industry.”
Four ships to be built in Scotland
Richard Haydock, Project Director at UK offshore wind BP said: “This is a key step in turning our offshore wind plans into action. We plan to build four ships in Scotland and how we power them is incredibly important. EnBW and BP are proud and excited to be part of a study that will help us identify low emission fuel types to power the ships that will service our offshore wind projects, delivering almost 6GW to the UK.”
Burkhard Roemhild, Project Manager at Morgan and Mona offshore wind projects EnBW, added: “Alongside delivering green energy, EnBW and BP are keen to further reduce the wind farms’ carbon footprint throughout the operational phase. Logistics can make a significant contribution here. The study will be key in evaluating different options and eventually finding the best solution, both for the projects and the overall environment.”
The project will be led by EnBW and BP with the Clean Maritime team at ORE Catapult, and partners, including the University of Strathclyde, the University of Edinburgh, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.