North Star, a specialist vessel operator for offshore infrastructure support, has awarded a new contract to UK builder Alicat Workboats for the construction of two new hybrid-propulsion offshore wind daughter craft, to a design by Chartwell Marine.
The new vessels will complement the two new SPS 120 construction and service operation vessels (CSOV) currently under construction by Vard. The two new vessels, daughter crafts 5 & 6, will play a critical role in ensuring quick, optimised, and safe operation offshore on the next series of vessels, transferring technicians from CSOV to turbine on a regular basis in a challenging offshore environment. These latest additions to the fleet bolster the ongoing partnership between North Star and Chartwell, following the procurement of four daughter craft vessels between 2021 and 2024. Combining diesel and electric outboard propulsion and efficient hull design, the daughter craft are designed in response to the demand in the offshore wind support sector for low-emission, high-performance vessels which can operate in turbulent sea and weather states.
North Star recently delivered its inaugural service operations vessel (SOV) designed specifically for offshore wind support on Dogger Bank. The first of four SOVs bound for the development, the series is powered by hybrid technology and provides wind farm technicians with high-standard comfort and accommodation while working in the field for extended periods.
Alicat Workboats will build the two Chartwell-designed vessels, integrating the latest green technologies with future-proofing for further technological advancements, facilitating a seamless changeover to low-emission fuels.
Andy Page, Director and Naval Architect, Chartwell Marine, said: “We are thrilled to collaborate once again with North Star and Alicat, and excited to be able to apply our expertise on such a monumental offshore wind project — not just in the UK, but globally. The next-generation technologies and design philosophy of daughter craft 5 & 6 further solidify our shared vision for a green future in the maritime industry. With the workboats playing a pivotal role in the further offshore sites serviced by North Star’s Walk-2-Work fleet, providing a safe means of transfer for technicians, these vessels will prove essential in maintaining the momentum of the project’s progression.”
Andrew Duncan, Renewables Director North Star, said: “Through our close collaborations with Chartwell and Alicat, we’ve witnessed their remarkable expertise and craftsmanship first-hand, so they were the natural choice for our next sequence of daughter crafts. Their impressive track record has instilled in us the utmost confidence that they can reliably deliver on time in the fields of design and construction, helping us continue to provide essential services offshore. This partnership enables three UK-based companies to create value within the domestic supply chain. With North Star’s steadfast support for the local content, the project serves as a catalyst to bolster the growth of British shipbuilding and further expand the offshore wind industry.”