Norway’s OHT has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) for the construction of two wind turbine installation vessels, with options for two more units.

OHT entered the agreement through its wholly-owned subsidiary, VIND Offshore Installation AS.

The vessels will be jack-ups of GustoMSC design and will be prepared to handle the next-generation wind turbines, featuring a telescopic crane with a maximum capacity of 2,500t and a maximum lifting height of approximately 165 metres.

The jack-ups will be capable of installing wind turbines in water depths of up to 65 metres.

The vessels will feature battery hybrid solutions as well as a sophisticated electrical and control system, reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent compared to similar units, OHT said.

As a future option, the vessels have been prepared for fuel cells powered by hydrogen to be installed.

The first unit will be delivered in early 2023. The delivery structure for the second unit is flexible.

“Through this initiative, OHT firmly establishes its position as a leading, fully integrated Transport and Installation (T&I) company for offshore wind. In doing so, we are responding to client concerns about the lack of capable vessel capacity in the booming offshore wind market. We hear them applauding the development of a capability by a single company to handle the T&I of next generation foundations and turbines,” said Torgeir E. Ramstad, CEO of OHT.

Two years ago, OHT announced a contract to build the world’s largest foundation installation vessel – Alfa Lift – at CMHI.

This vessel, to be delivered next year, is designed to install monopiles and jackets from a floating vessel in dynamic positioning mode.

16 months after ordering Alfa Lift, OHT announced the award of the Dogger Bank A & B contract where Alfa Lift will transport and install foundations at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, from 2022.

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