New contract gives Ulstein entry to US wind sector

Adam Foster
Adam Foster

17 October 2018


Norwegian shipbuilder and designer has followed up its second expedition cruise ship design contract with a new contract that give it a first reference in the US offshore wind sector.

Florida based Aeolus Energy awarded Ulstein the design contract to develop the first ever Jones Act compliant offshore wind Service Operations Vessel (SOV). Based on Ulstein’s proven SX195 design, a customised version will be developed meeting the specific requirements of Aeolus Energy and US Coast Guard. The contract marks Ulstein’s entry into the US offshore wind market and serves as Aeolus’ initial investment towards a fleet of vessels including cable ships, crew transfer vessels and hotel ships, all to be constructed by US shipyards.

“The choice for Ulstein has been based on their market leadership and proven track record in designing and constructing offshore wind vessels”, said Elia Golfin, CEO of Aeolus Energy Inc. “Together with Ulstein, we will develop a modern fleet, boost the American shipbuilding industry and pushing the envelope in the offshore wind industry where Jones Act-compliant vessels are concerned.”

Having introduced the first dedicated offshore wind support vessel in the European market back in 2013, Ulstein once again is pioneering a new market. This The project starts with customising the SX195 design, to optimise the new walk-to-work vessel for operations in US offshore wind farms. The design will feature the X-BOW and X-STERN hull shape.

“Offshore wind is one of our core markets, and we are extremely proud to have been selected as design partner by Aeolus for developing the United States’ first purpose built SOV vessel,” said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO of Ulstein. “With our track record in SOV and offshore vessel designs, we are committed and do look forward to support Aeolus in realising their offshore wind ambitions and develop their fleet portfolio. Using also our experiences in supporting yards worldwide to construct our innovative offshore vessel designs, it is with great enthusiasm that we now start on this exciting journey in the United States.”

For Ulstein, this is the 5th contract in offshore wind this year. Previous contracts included two SOVs, a cable lay vessel and a large foundation installation vessel.