February 15 - Fred. Olsen Windcarrier has placed an order with the Lamprell Energy Ltd shipyard in Dubai for two self elevating vessels for installation of offshore wind turbines.

The vessels are due to be delivered in May and September 2012 and the contract with the yard includes options for two additional vessels.

The 14,000 tonne design weight vessels will be equipped with dynamic positioning, high speed jacking systems, an 800 tonne crane and a rotary propulsion system that allows the vessels to sail at a speed of 12 knots. Each ship will have accommodation for 80 personnel and a payload capacity in excess of 5,000 tonnes.

Lamprell chief executive Nigel McCue says the offshore wind sector provides the company with an opportunity to utilise its engineering skills in a fast-growing sector, where there is a lack of installation vessel capacity. 

"Our contract with Windcarrier not only re-affirms our reputation for delivery of projects on time, on budget and to a very high standard but it also endorses our strategic goal of becoming the fabricator of choice in the offshore windfarm installation vessels market." 

The two ships have been designed to be as operable and flexible as possible in performing the tasks required for loading, transporting and erecting wind turbine equipment offshore. 

Says Tor Erik Andreassen, managing director of Fred. Olsen Windcarrier: "We are confident that the vessels and their optimised design will contribute to a considerably more efficient installation process for offshore wind turbines. Technical solutions, custom- designed for the wind industry, will provide a wider weather window, extend operability, reduce installation time, limit the need for many other vessels and hence reduce overall installation costs. Adding to the vessel efficiency, they will be manned with a versatile multifunctional crew, also drawing on experienced wind installation teams from our daughter company Global Wind Services."

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier (previously known as Windcarrier) has its head office in Oslo and is wholly owned by First Olsen Ltd.