P&O Maritime Logistics has today [20 February] announced plans to convert one of its multi-carrying vessels (MCVs) into a cable-laying vessel (CLV) that it expects will mainly be used to ‘connect offshore wind farms with the mainland’.
The concept design for the vessel is now complete and P&O anticipates it to be operational from Q3 2024.
The CLV will be equipped with ‘a state-of-the-art battery system as well as a low fuel consumption propulsion layout for green methanol fuel’. According to FCBI Energy’s Methanol as a Marine Fuel Report, ‘green methanol provides clean burning in the engine and produces low levels of soot in combustion compared with diesel oil or heavy fuel oil (HFO)’. Other benefits of this alternative fuel include low emissions of nitrous oxides and no emissions of sulphur oxides.
Martin Helweg, Chief Executive of P&O Maritime Logistics said: “The conversion of our vessel is a real step change. It means, apart from expanding our existing services and products into a more specialised offering, that we can also make a positive contribution to the decarbonisation of our industry.
“One way of doing this is by using alternative energy to power the converted vessel. The other important contribution is that the Cable Laying Vessel will predominately support the construction, development, and maintenance of existing and prospective wind farms.
“Lastly, and by repurposing an existing vessel, we are able to extend the lifetime of this particular product quite significantly to keep up with the increasing demand in the sector.”
Marc van der Zwaluw is Project Manager at C-Job Naval Architects, the company tasked with designing the converted vessel. He announced: “We are pleased to support P&O Maritime Logistics with the design of a cable-laying vessel by repurposing an existing module carrier vessel. With the increasing demand in the offshore wind sector, this vessel will be able to meet the operational demands for the installation of next-generation windmill infrastructure thanks to its optimised deck layout.
“Furthermore, in close co-operation with P&O Maritime Logistics, we were able to create a design that was best suited to their operational profile. The design focused on optimised vessel performance and features a DP-2 positioning system and a low fuel consumption propulsion layout that is ready for green methanol fuel and zero emission operations.”
This plan follows the conversion of another vessel into a cable layer, the Topaz Installer, in Taiwan – a project that P&O describes as a ‘success’.