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CMB Windcat Steps Into CSOV Arena with Hydrogen Powered Series at Damen

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CMB Windcat steps into CSOV arena with hydrogen powered series at Damen.

Windcat, Europe’s market-leading offshore personnel transfer company announce an order for the construction of a series of hydrogen-powered Commissioning Service Operation Vessels (“CSOVs”), with Damen Shipyards, a global provider of maritime solutions.

The “Elevation Series” CSOVs have been designed by Damen Shipyards in cooperation with Windcat and CMB.TECH. The result is a revolutionary new design with increased capabilities and flexibility compared to existing vessels. The vessels are 87 m long, 20 m wide, can accommodate 120 people on board and will be powered by hydrogen. The series will be delivered from 2025.

The CSOVs will be built at Ha Long Shipyard, Vietnam, and will be delivered to Windcat Offshore, a new business unit within Windcat, which will focus on offshore energy commissioning and services. Initially, two vessels have been ordered with options for further vessels.

A CSOV is a vessel that remains in an offshore wind farm for an extended period of up to 30 days, providing maintenance materials and housing technicians in hotel-style accommodation. This next step in Windcat’s journey builds on Windcat’s 20 years of experience in the offshore renewable energy sector and follows four years of market and vessel design evaluation.

Damen, as creator of one of the first dedicated CSOVs based upon a bespoke design, is a leading global provider of maritime solutions with more than 96 years of experience in shipbuilding.

Hydrogen

To significantly reduce the vessels’ CO2 footprint, Windcat and CMB.TECH, will provide the same dual fuel hydrogen technology for the Elevation Series as on board of the Hydrocat, the world’s first hydrogen powered CTV (Crew Transfer Vessel). This approach will also make a critical contribution to the development of rules and regulations related to the use of hydrogen as a fuel in medium-sized vessels.

Joost Van der Weiden, Damen Shipyards, said:

Damen is committed to becoming the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder and is a recognized pioneer in the development of Service Operation Vessels, having designed and built one of the world’s first dedicated walk-to-work vessels 5 years ago.

“These vessels have set a benchmark in the Offshore renewables market and are still performing very well in the North Sea. We are proud to work together with Windcat and CMB.TECH to build these vessels and make the groundbreaking design of the Windcat Elevation Series come to life.”

Robbert van Rijk, Managing Director and Co Founder of Windcat said:

After 20 years of developing the CTV business in all aspects of vessel design, construction and operations, we started 4 years ago to lay the foundations for the creation of a ground-breaking CSOV design.

“I am pleased that we have been able to expand our CSOV sector specific knowledge with the initial appointment of Stephen Bolton as Managing Director Windcat Offshore. With this order we are now positioned to offer best-in-class services to both the CTV and CSOV sector on a side by side basis.”

Long-lasting collaboration between two families

Alexander Saverys, CEO of CMB said:

We are very proud and happy that less than two years after the integration of Windcat into the CMB family, we are able to take a significant strategic step by investing in these state-of-the-art CSOVs and leverage CMB.TECH’s hydrogen know-how to bring hydrogen to the off-shore wind industry.

“I would like to thank Damen Shipyards for the excellent collaboration so far and am convinced that this is the beginning of a strong and long-term relationship between our groups.”

Arnout Damen, CEO of Damen Shipyards said:

CMB and Damen are family companies that both value long lasting relationships where collaboration takes place in an open and constructive manner.

“Both organizations also see a bright future for the offshore renewables sector and demand for vessels that fulfil the aspirations of their end clients for energy that is clean throughout the production and delivery process. We look forward to a successful and long lasting relationship with CMB.TECH.”

State-of-the art CSOVs

The Elevation Series will be equipped with the latest gangway, crane, thrusters, hybrid battery technology and offshore charging capability, among other industry-leading features to be announced in the next weeks.

Stephen Bolton, Managing Director Windcat Offshore said:

I truly believe the Elevation Series is an industry-leading design, a real game changer.

“A design that will lead the sector in exploring hydrogen as a fuel while delivering best-in-class performance and flexibility. Only with the combined team of Windcat, CMB.TECH and Damen has this been possible. Together we have addressed the current and future CSOV sector needs while starting to answer the greater maritime industry’s challenge: how to significantly reduce our industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

READ the latest news shaping the hydrogen market at Hydrogen Central

Windcat Offshore and Damen Shipyards develop future-proof CSOVs, November 29, 2022

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