Danish shipowner Esvagt has committed to ordering what it calls the first service operation vessel (SOV) to run on green fuels for offshore wind farm operations.
The company is teaming up with domestic energy giant Orsted to invest in a ship to be powered by batteries and dual-fuel engines capable of using e-methanol.
The two sides described the agreement as a “bold step to help decarbonise the maritime sector as well as the offshore wind industry”.
No price or shipyard has yet been revealed, but construction will start in the second quarter of 2022 for delivery in 2024.
The methanol will be produced from wind energy and biogenic carbon. This will lead to an annual emission reduction of 4,500 tonnes of CO2.
Orsted intends to supply the green fuel for the ship.
The new SOV will be 93 metres long and provide accommodation for 124 technicians.
The ship will eventually work at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2, off the UK’s east coast, operated by Orsted.
Mark Porter, head of offshore operations at Orsted, said: “We’ve set clear targets and a clear direction towards net-zero emissions, and this new methanol-powered SOV is a tangible proof of our clear commitment to realise these targets.”
Maersk ships to be fuelled
Orsted is already involved in three projects to supply e-methanol for shipping.
These include a newly announced plant on the US Gulf Coast to provide 300,000 tonnes of e-methanol for AP Moller–Maersk’s fleet of zero-emissions container ships.
An offshore wind farm already has 99% lower emissions than a coal-fired power station.
Orsted wants to be carbon-neutral in its energy generation and own operations by 2025.
Last year, private equity firm 3i agreed to buy out the remaining 50% held in Esvagt by co-owner AMP Capital.
The London-based firm paid £268m ($355m) for the stake.