Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BSO) is to build and operate Jones Act offshore support vessels (OSVs) in the US wind farm market.

The German company is teaming up with US wind power solutions company MidOcean Wind (MOW) to form a new joint venture.

The new operation will also explore opportunities in other sectors of US merchant shipping, the two sides said.

The Connecticut-based joint venture "signals a new chapter of cooperation between BSO and MOW", which began in late 2018 when the two parties joined up for WINDEA Offshore US to provide a single point of contact for offshore wind customers in the US, they added.

Volckert van Reesema, co-founder and principal of MOW, said: "We have been following the successes of the Schulte Group for some time now and recognise they share the same business values and focus on long-term partnerships.

"Their experience in the operation of offshore wind vessels is needed to support this upcoming new industry in the US."

BSO managing director Matthias Muller said: "The Schulte Group has a track record of more than 550 newbuilding projects around the globe and MidOcean is a specialist at building vessels of various types under the local regulations in several US shipyards.

"Since the on-time delivery of a vessel to our charterers is critical, we are the ideal partners to support the US offshore wind industry with specialised units."

The companies gave no details on the number of ships they are targeting.

The move follows that of Norway's Ostensjo Rederi into the sector through a joint venture with US owner Foss Maritime.