UK marine service provider James Fisher and Sons and compatriot shipowner Graig Shipping have unveiled what is said to be a pioneering service operation vessel (SOV) design concept aimed at UK’s offshore wind supply chain and 50GW by 2030 target.
The concept, named Ulstein SX221 Diamond SOV, is the result of collaboration by the Diamond Consortium, which includes James Fisher and Graig, with support from DNV and design partner, Ulstein Design Solutions.
The result will provide a future-proof design to address the increased demand for SOVs and will reduce the levelised cost of energy while delivering high levels of operability, personnel comfort and sustainability.
The scalable, modular design makes it an ideal candidate for construction at speed and volume, with package protection to accommodate low and zero emission powertrains as new technologies emerge, the companies said in a release.
Commenting on the launch, Jim Hey, group business development director at James Fisher, said: “The philosophy behind the Diamond SOV has been successfully applied to other vessel segments for many years: developing a specification that meets a market need while allowing for a high degree of customisation and configuration for individual owners and developers. We chose to go with Ulstein due to their history of successful innovative designs and believe the Twin X-Stern to be the best choice for service operations of offshore wind farms.
“Building SOVs in series volumes achieves significant economies of scale and delivers a design that can be built in multiple yards simultaneously. Considering the anticipated market demand for SOVs in the UK and beyond by the end of the decade, this exciting new concept places the UK at the centre of enabling global offshore wind ambitions.”
Hugh Williams, CEO of Graig Shipping, added: “We have successfully partnered over many years with DNV on the Graig-led Diamond business model and we are now applying this proven, scalable strategy to the global offshore wind markets with a particular focus on UK waters, helping to meet the challenging environmental goals in front of us.”
The consortium is currently in discussion with major shipyards to reach specifications in conjunction with clients, with the first vessel capable of being completed by the end of 2024.