Danish contractor and shipowner NKT has confirmed that its latest newbuilding cable-laying vessel will able to run on methanol and biofuel.

The ship, designed by Salt Ship Design, is being built at Vard in Norway and is due to be delivered in 2027.

NKT announced plans for the newbuilding order in May 2023 on the back of a record order backlog, and the vessel was formally ordered in January this year.

It said the vessel, which will be named NKT Eleonora, will be among the world’s first cable layers designed to run on methanol, reducing the carbon footprint of its operations.

The DP3-rated vessel will feature Wartsila 32 methanol engines, an onboard DC grid power system and aft Azipod electrical propulsion from ABB, as well as Wartsila tunnel and azimuth thrusters.

It will also connect to shore power from the quayside during loading, resulting in zero carbon emissions when using renewable power.

“The decision to build a vessel designed to run on methanol is driven by our strong commitment to sustainability and connecting a greener world through our power cable solutions,” said Darren Fennell, head of HV solutions Karlskrona.

“She is an important strategic asset which enhances our installation capacity and capabilities to ensure efficient project execution and meet the evolving demands of our clients.

“The high-voltage power cable market has grown significantly in recent years and the outlook remains positive, driven by the transition to renewable energy and electrification of societies.

“Transmission lines are becoming larger, longer and with an increasing focus on lower power losses, which is setting new standards for cable production and installation.”

NKT said the NKT Eleonora will represent the “next generation” in terms of design and capabilities.

Equipped with three turntables, it will offer a power cable-laying capacity of 23,000 tonnes and host a broad range of subsea tooling for precise installation and service of offshore cables.