Innovative Maritime Shift: UK’s First Low-Carbon Vessel for Offshore Wind Farms Unveiled

UK Government Funds Revolutionary Project Led by Morek Engineering to Develop Eco-Friendly Offshore Wind Installation Vessel

1 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • Pioneering Maritime Technology: Morek Engineering leads a consortium to design a novel low-carbon installation vessel for floating offshore wind.
  • Strategic Collaboration for Environmental Progress: The project includes key partners like Solis Marine Engineering and Tope Ocean, showcasing a collaborative effort in clean maritime technology.
  • Focus on Maritime Decarbonisation: The initiative aligns with the UK Government’s £206m UK SHORE programme, underlining a commitment to maritime sector decarbonization.

A Leap in Clean Maritime Technology

In a landmark initiative to bolster the floating offshore wind market and maritime decarbonization, the UK Government has granted funding to a consortium helmed by Morek Engineering for designing a groundbreaking low-carbon installation vessel. This development represents a significant stride in aligning maritime activities with environmental sustainability.

Consortium’s Vision and Expertise

The consortium, featuring Morek Engineering, Solis Marine Engineering, Tope Ocean, First Marine Solutions, and Celtic Sea Power, was selected for this project through the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. Their collective expertise in innovative vessel design and managing complex offshore operations positions them at the forefront of this ambitious endeavor.

Designing the Future of Offshore Wind

Bob Colclough, MD of Morek Engineering, elaborates on the project’s scope: “This will be a first-in-class low-carbon vessel specifically designed for the complex installation requirements of floating offshore wind farm moorings and foundations.” The vessel aims to meet the challenging demands of deploying floating foundations for large offshore wind turbines.

Challenges and Opportunities in Floating Wind Farms

As offshore wind development ventures into deeper waters using floating foundations, the need for specialized vessels becomes paramount. The current offshore service fleet’s limitations necessitate innovative solutions to achieve Net Zero targets. This project aims to develop vessels capable of serialized installation of moorings and floating foundation systems with minimal carbon emissions.

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UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4)

Part of the Department for Transport’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, CMDC4 is a £206m initiative focusing on developing clean maritime technologies. This project falls under CMDC4, which aims to decarbonize the UK domestic maritime sector.

A New Standard for Environmental Performance

Ian Godfrey, MD of Tope Ocean, highlights the environmental significance: “With offshore wind farm operation and maintenance vessels contributing significantly to domestic shipping emissions, pioneering a new class of low-carbon installation vessel is vital for achieving Clean Maritime and Net Zero objectives.”

Future-Proofing Vessel Design

The consortium plans to engage various stakeholders to ensure the new vessel design accommodates a wide range of mooring and foundation technologies. The goal is to achieve a vessel design approved by classification societies by early 2025.

National Shipbuilding Strategy Inclusion

The project also aspires to be part of the national shipbuilding strategy, reinforcing the UK’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050. The new vessel is expected to accelerate the global growth of the floating offshore wind market.

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