Monaco-based Eneti has announced it is in advanced discussions with several American shipbuilders for the construction of a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV). This vessel would be constructed, financed, and operated by American citizens in compliance with the Jones Act, in order to address the heightened demand for transportation and installation capacity on the Continental Shelf of the United States. Not disclosed were the U.S. shipyards approached or the anticipated cost of the ship.
According to Eneti, there are 30 offshore wind energy projects off the U.S. Atlantic Coast between Maine and South Carolina. The green-focused Biden administration has encouraged developers to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
The company also confirmed it has signed a $330 million contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Engineering (DSME) for one WTIV – per illustrated in the artist rendering – that will operate in the global market. The deal includes an option for a second vessel.
Emanuele A Lauro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Since last August, we have been unequivocal about our intention to enter the Wind Turbine Installation sector. This contract with Daewoo is a milestone for the Company, as it reflects months of customer engagement and collaboration with partners, both old and new. This Vessel will have the advanced lifting capabilities and energy efficiency that offshore wind developers require, not just today but well into the next decade.”
“In addition,” Mr. Lauro said, “we are laying the groundwork for a Jones-Act compliant WTIV to address the American mandate for offshore wind development. The growing calls for a safe, efficient, American-constructed and American-operated asset have been clear and loud. We are intent on providing a state-of-the-art solution to our customers so that they can comply with the Jones Act as they bring renewable energy to the U.S. consumer.”
Eneti was formerly known as Scorpio Bulkers. The firm left the bulk commodity transport sector in 2020 to concentrate on WTIVs and other aspects of marine-based renewable energy.