Marco Polo targets the offshore wind market with Newbuild CSOV

Courtesy of Marco Polo

Posted on Sep 23, 2022 7:28 PM by

Maritime Executive

Singapore’s Marco Polo Marine wants to tap into the rapidly expanding Asia Pacific offshore wind energy market after unveiling plans to build, own and operate a new Operating Service Vessel (CSOV).

The company announced that the construction of the $60 million vessel is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 and will be financed through existing resources and borrowing from financial institutions. The ship will be the first CSOV to be built in Asia.

The decision to invest in the vessel comes after the company unveiled the designs in March of this year and garnered great interest from offshore wind farm developers.

By investing in CSOV, Marco Polo intends to capitalize on the growing demand for support vessels required to service the booming offshore wind farm industry in the Asia Pacific region, which is expected to exceed Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in installed capacity within the next 15 years.

According to the World Wind Energy Report 20221 issued by the World Wind Energy Council, the annual global market is expected to grow by 49 percent from 21.1 GW in 2021 to 31.4 GW in 2026. The Asia Pacific region has taken the lead in developing wind energy global last year and 84 percent of new offshore installations worldwide in 2021.

Outside of China, Taiwan is one of the fastest growing offshore wind markets in the region and is expected to add 6.6 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2026. Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan also have ambitious plans to develop offshore wind resources, with plans to add 2.2 GW, 1.7 GW and 1 gigawatt of offshore wind capacity by 2026, respectively.

“We noticed that the industry is still battling CSOV shortages globally, rental rates continue to rise as well as the need to combat climate change. “We are optimistic about the ability to meet the growing demand for this type of vessel,” said Shawn Lee, CEO of Marco Polo Marine.

The CSOV will be used for commissioning work during offshore wind farm construction as well as maintenance operations. Equipped with the latest motion-compensating aisle for safe transportation of personnel from ship to turbine, it is also fitted with a 3D motion-compensating lift to facilitate cargo transportation.

The ship will also be equipped with battery-based hybrid energy storage systems that will reduce carbon emissions by up to 15 to 20 percent. It is designed to be methanol ready.

According to Clarksons, charterers of offshore wind support vessels are beginning to insure ships earlier and for longer due to growing concerns about a shortage of suitable ships to meet the growing offshore wind farm market. In particular, CSOVs have seen higher usage and daily rates in all regions due to higher demand from both renewables and the oil and gas sector, as well as higher prices for new vessels.

Within the offshore wind sector, the construction of new projects as well as projects close to the final operating date has increased the demand for CSOVs, resulting in a lack of vessel availability.

Another Singaporean company, Cyan Renewables, aims to become the first owner of wind ships in Asia. The company aims to invest $1 billion in a fleet of offshore wind vessels in the next three years, to include cable layers, service operation vessels and wind turbine installation vessels.

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