Norway’s Seaway 7 has struck a “milestone” deal with Italian energy company Saipem to target offshore wind contracts.

The Oslo-listed shipowner said the “commercial collaboration agreement” will allow both sides to identify, bid and execute projects with their combined fleets, saving costs and improving margins.

Seaway 7 was formed in 2021 out of the combination of the renewables division of Kristian Siem’s Subsea 7 with Arne Blystad’s heavylift shipowner OHT.

The deal covers the procurement, construction, transport and installation of foundations and inner-array cables, as well as the installation of substations and wind turbine generators.

The two companies will focus on Europe, the UK and the US initially, with the possibility of expanding to other areas later.

“The collaboration will enhance operational flexibility and enable early engagement with both clients and the supply chain to optimise design and execution strategies, and to secure critical enabling assets, including vessels and yards,” they said.

Gianalberto Secchi, chief operating officer of offshore wind at Saipem, described the deal as an important milestone in offering a more competitive service.

“Together, we will be able to provide a full set of services for wind farms in line with Saipem’s strategy to best serve the growth in renewable power production projects,” he said.

Seaway 7 chief executive Stuart Fitzgerald said the partnership was born out of a successful collaboration on the Seagreen offshore wind project in the North Sea.

Funds in place for newbuildings

“Importantly, the strengthened offering will also expand the potential market for EPCI [engineering, procurement, construction & installation] opportunities through our combined fleet and expertise,” he added.

Last September, Seaway 7 revealed details of a $650m fundraising drive to pay for two wind turbine installation vessels on order in China.

It said the financing would give it the $550m needed for the ships, as well as money for future capital needs.

The 142-loa Seaway Ventus and 50,300-dwt semi-submersible Seaway Alfa Lift are due to be delivered from China Merchants Industry Holdings this year.

The Seaway Alfa Lift’s handover was delayed from last year after a crane accident in October 2021.

Both ships are due to start work in 2024.

Seaway 7’s fleet includes heavylift ships, cable-layers and an accommodation vessel.

Saipem controls 10 vessels, including heavylifters and cable-laying units.