February 24 - HOCHTIEF Solutions has commissioned the construction of a further heavy-lift jack-up vessel from the Crist shipyard in Poland for the installation of offshore wind farms.
The vessel, dubbed "Vidar," is to start operating in 2013 to meet the huge demand for special-purpose equipment in this booming market. Vidar will be HOCHTIEF's fourth heavy-duty craft, following its sister vessel, Innovation, as well as the jack-up platforms, Odin and Thor.
It will be used for the company's own offshore construction contracts and will also be chartered out. Rainer Eichholz, a member of the HOCHTIEF Solutions Executive Board, says, "We are banking on the move to alternative energy sources and accommodating market players' huge demand with our special-purpose vessel."
Like HOCHTIEF's other heavy-duty equipment, the new special-purpose jack-up vessel will also speed up installation and servicing times for the latest generation of offshore power plants. Vidar's main features will be a 1,200 tonne crane, a loading capacity of up to 6,500 tonnes, a powerful engine allowing speeds of up to 12 knots, and the ability to work in water depths of up to 50 m, making it one of the most powerful lifting vessels in Northern Europe, says HOCHTIEF.
The financing of the vessel is by means of an operate-lease structure with a subsidiary of Santander acting as the lessor, and with the involvement of KfW IPEX Bank, Norddeutsche Landesbank, the Spanish CaixaBank, andBankhaus Lampe.
Dr. Carsten Wiebers, global head of ship financing at KfW IPEX-Bank comments: "In the light of the German Energiewende (support of energy efficiency and renewable energies) offshore wind energy is gaining a growing importance. One of the largest restraints is currently the lacking capacity for installation of such offshore wind farms. With the financing of the construction vessel, KfW IPEX-Bank, one of the largest ship financers world wide, provides a contribution to the Energiewende and supports the maritime industry."
Like the other heavy-duty members of the fleet, Vidar will be built at the Crist shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. Parallel to this order, HOCHTIEF Solutions has commissioned the construction of three large work pontoons. In addition, work is currently underway at Crist on the fit-out of the Vidar's somewhat larger sister vessel, Innovation, which is to be operated and chartered out from mid-2012 by HGO InfraSea Solutions, a HOCHTIEF joint venture withGeoSea, Belgium.
Innovation's first assignment will be at the Global Tech I wind farm, which HOCHTIEF Solutions will be building in the German North Sea.
HOCHTIEF reports that numerous project proposals for and inquiries about Vidar have already been made.