UK shipowner James Fisher is beefing up its renewables fleet with a charter for an Australian-owned ship.

The London-listed company, also known for product tankers, said it has brought in the 80-loa multipurpose support vessel (MSV) Go Electra (built 2012) from Australia’s Go Marine Group for the rest of 2022.

The exclusive use of the ship will add “much-needed security for customers amid cost and supply chain crunches in the industry”, the shipowner added.

Subsidiaries James Fisher Renewables (JF Renewables) and James Fisher Subtech (JF Subtech) will operate the MSV. No charter rate has been given.

The deal gives the group quicker response times and tailored health and safety standards, as well as stabilised and reliable day rates for customers, the company said.

James Fisher also believes the vessel will increase operational capacity, with a consistent crew and shortened mobilisation and demobilisation times between projects, resulting in higher productivity and sustainability due to fewer transits to shore.

The ship was brought in after an extensive research and evaluation process.

The Go Electra has DP2 capabilities and can accommodate 66 crew and passengers.

It has an established North Sea operating record and will now operate in and around UK waters.

Its work will involve inspection, maintenance and repair projects, as well as unexploded ordnance (UXO) identification with remotely operated vehicles.

First seasonal charter

Paula Crosby, head of tendering at JF Renewables and JF Subtech, said: “A seasonal charter like this is a first for James Fisher and signifies our commitment to the UK offshore and North Sea energy sector, following several difficult years for the industry due to price and supply chain complications compounded by Covid-19.”

She added that 2022 is set to be one of the busiest years yet.

“It was really important to us to ensure that we’ve got the best set-up for our operations over the coming months,” she said.

JF Renewables completed phase one of UXO identification at RWE’s Sofia Offshore wind farm off eastern England last year, with the Go Electra earmarked for use on phase two from May 2022.