Dutch owner Acta Marine is aiming to steal a march on rivals with a contract for low-carbon wind farm vessels in Turkey.

The Van Oord family-backed company said it has signed a deal for two next-generation construction service operating vessels (CSOVs) at Tersan Shipyard for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2024.

No price has been revealed, but the contracts come with options for two more ships in the series. CSOVs can cost upwards of $125m.

These new designs will run on methanol and marine diesel or hydrotreated vegetable oil, sometimes known as renewable diesel.

The vessels are primarily aimed at the offshore wind construction market and carry the new SX-216 TWIN-X Stern design from Ulstein Design & Solutions in Norway, exclusively designed for and in cooperation with Acta Marine.

“Acta Marine is growing along with the offshore wind construction market by ordering these two vessels while remaining one of the leaders in this field,” said managing director Rob Boer.

He described the ships as a first for the offshore wind sector, enabling a big reduction in carbon footprint in the near future in combination with a battery power system.

Acta sees methanol as one of the most viable alternatives to cut emissions.

“Dual-fuel methanol-driven propulsion trains score high in terms of technology readiness and are eligible for further enhancement to a single-fuel methanol upgrade at a later stage,” general manager Simon Anink said.

“This will allow early application of significant CO2 reduction measures now, while still allowing net-zero operations over the life of the ship.”

Cranes and cargo space

The CSOVs are 89 metres long and can accommodate up to 135 people in 85 cabins.

They will feature a motion-compensated crane with six tonnes of lifting capacity and one square kilometre of cargo space.

The units are designed to operate in waves of up to three metres.

Sakir Erdogan, business development director at Tersan Shipyard, said: “We are very pleased that Acta Marine has chosen Tersan for this project. We are looking forward to the cooperation and to deliver the new vessels to the growing renewables industry.”

The new ships will help commission and construct wind farms, and then maintain them.

Details of the financing were not provided.

The company said in April 2021 that it was looking for an investment partner to grow its fleet.

It brought in shipbroker Clarksons’ investment bank unit Clarksons Platou Securities to find a new co-owner.

Growing the fleet

Acta and the controlling Van Oord family, which also owns offshore shipowner and contractor Van Oord, called this “a structured process”.

Acta was at that point in close dialogue with a leading European designer to develop the next generation of these ships.

The company already has five years’ experience successfully operating purpose-built CSOVs.

It operates a diverse fleet of 34 vessels serving the offshore wind market and related maritime infrastructure segments.

Acta has been contacted for further information.