Ørsted and ESVAGT Ink Agreement for Methanol-Powered Vessel for Carbon Neutrality in Wind Farms


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Ørsted and ESVAGT have signed a contract to build a new vessel similar to the world’s first methanol-powered service operation vessel (SOV), which was announced in 2022. This agreement strengthens their commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the offshore wind supply chain. The new SOV is scheduled for launch in 2026 and will operate from Ørsted’s UK East Coast Hub under a 10-year contract.

The new SOV will be equipped with dual-fuel engines, allowing it to run on renewable e-methanol produced from renewable energy and biogenic carbon. This change will result in an annual reduction of approximately 4,500 tonnes of carbon emissions. Ørsted has established itself as a leader in green maritime fuels, having made Europe’s largest investment decision in a renewable e-methanol facility called FlagshipONE in Sweden. Ørsted plans to supply its own methanol for both SOVs. Other maritime companies have placed orders for methanol-powered vessels, indicating a demand for green fuels.

Compared to a coal-fired power station, an offshore wind farm has 99% lower emissions over its entire lifespan, including production, construction, and installation. Ørsted aims to achieve carbon neutrality in its energy generation and operations by 2025. The addition of the second green fuel SOV further supports this goal as Ørsted works towards its science-based target of achieving net-zero emissions across the entire value chain by 2040.

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Ørsted has implemented a systematic approach to reduce emissions in its offshore logistics. This includes efficiency initiatives such as optimizing routes and sailing at fuel-saving speeds. They have also introduced light hybrid crew transfer vessels to improve fuel efficiency. Ørsted is actively collaborating with partners and suppliers to pursue low-carbon solutions across operations, construction, and manufacturing, demonstrating their commitment to achieving net-zero wind farms.

ESVAGT has been a pioneer in the field of service operation vessels (SOVs) and continues to prioritize energy efficiency and safety in its marine operations. They explore various options, from hull design and engine configuration to crew training, digitization, and alternative fuels, to promote the green transition and sustainable operations.

Over the past two years, Ørsted has developed a diverse portfolio of green fuel projects, including three focused on producing e-methanol for maritime transport. One of these projects, FlagshipONE in Sweden, is currently under construction and will produce 50,000 tonnes of e-methanol annually starting in 2025. Another project, ‘Project Star’ on the US Gulf Coast, aims to supply 300,000 tonnes of e-methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk’s zero-emissions vessel fleet. Additionally, Ørsted is also collaborating with major Danish players in heavy transport, including shipping, on the ‘Green Fuels for Denmark’ project in Copenhagen.

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Servicing an offshore wind farm requires a specialized team of technicians who often spend weeks at a time offshore. They reside on a service operation vessel (SOV) that provides accommodation, an onboard workshop, and the necessary equipment and spare parts for wind farm maintenance.

The new ESVAGT SOV incorporates the latest technologies, and the crew is well-trained and supported by digital tools. It offers a comfortable and highly efficient workspace, ensuring the safe transfer of technicians through motion-compensated gangways, transfer boats, and a crane for heavy lifting. The SOV also serves as a floating home, providing recreational amenities such as fitness facilities, a game room, a cinema, and individual accommodations for the crew and technicians. It is equipped with a helipad to facilitate fast access and transfers to and from shore.

Mark Porter, Head of Operations Europe at Ørsted, said, “As the world leader in offshore wind, Ørsted will continue to look for the best green alternatives to fossil fuels. E-methanol is a strong match for our SOVs, and we’re very pleased that we, along with ESVAGT, will soon welcome the second methanol-powered vessel to our fleet.”

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Søren Karas, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer at ESVAGT, said, “We are delighted to expand our collaboration with Ørsted on this ground-breaking operation. As a global market leader in marine services for offshore wind, ESVAGT is deeply committed to continuously innovating to deliver lower emission solutions. We are looking forward to bringing the first methanol powered SOVs to the market”. 

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