Scorpio Bulkers has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to construct a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (“WTIV”) with options for additional vessels.
Emanuele A. Lauro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Scorpio Bulkers is embarking on a new and exciting journey. The world urgently needs to reduce emissions and offshore wind will make a pivotal contribution. We appreciate the encouragement and assistance of multiple partners – including suppliers, customers, and shipbuilders – as we take a significant first step in transitioning the Company towards a sustainable future. This strategic direction now aligns with our future customers, investors, finance providers and the growing momentum in global public policy. At the same time, the Board of Directors carefully considered this project and believes that this transition will result in higher and more predictable shareholder returns in a structural growth market. Our transition has begun.”
He added “Scorpio has a history of executing complex maritime projects and of building teams and expertise to enter new markets. We are fully committed to this new direction as an area of significant value creation for our shareholders and alignment with our multiple stakeholders. “
The initial vessel will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for delivery scheduled in 2023. This WTIV is an NG-16000X design GustoMSC (a subsidiary of National Oilwell Varco and includes a 1500 Leg Encircling Crane from Huisman Equipment. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $265-$290 million, subject to final design modifications. The contract is expected to be signed in early Q4 2020 and will include options to construct up to an additional three units having similar specifications.
Scorpio claims the vessel will be one of the most sophisticated dedicated turbine installation vessels in the world. It will have the capacity to install onto pre-prepared foundations the largest wind turbines currently designed, at a height of over 185m above sea level and in water depth in excess of 65m. The vessel incorporates various features and green innovations that significantly improve the operating window and efficiency and accelerate all-important “time to first power” for customers.
Offshore wind is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 15% for the next decade. There is a growing shortage of vessels that can install and maintain next-generation turbines core to this growth. The increasing maritime complexity and innovation of the offshore wind sector plays to Scorpio’s strengths and the Board of Directors believes the Company is in a good position to build an industry-leading presence.