March 1 - Ten to twelve new heavy lift ships will be required to support the predicted growth of offshore wind projects over the coming years and these ships should be built in the European Union.
That was the joint message from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Community of European Shipyards' Association (CESA) who called on the European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the building of new ships to serve the expanding offshore wind energy market.
They have urged the European Commission to produce programmes and funding and the EIB to underwrite the necessary significant investments.
New ships in the region of EUR2.4 billion are needed for the predicted growth of offshore wind, they consider. By 2020, the installation of thousands of offshore wind turbines, as well as the necessary substructures and cables, is foreseen.
"From 2020 we will see 40,000 MWs per year built offshore," said Eddie O'Connor, founder and CEO of Mainstream Renewables and EWEA secretary.
"This will require ten to twelve new heavy lift ships, other vessels for transporting foundations, towers, nacelles and blading systems. New ports will have to be built across Europe."
The call was made at a meeting in Brussels chaired by O'Connor, bringing together the wind industry, the European shipyard industry and officials from the Commission and EIB.
HLPFI will be looking at heavy lift and project forwarding issues in the renewable energy sector in the July/August issue.