Chinese yards are known as the busiest offshore wind farm vessels’ installation across the world as the country is looking forward to expanding renewable power infrastructure in order to decrease the use of fossil fuels. Data from Chinese associations show that 15 out of the 24 offshore wind farm installation vessels constructed globally are from China.

In October 2020, Chinese yard CIMC Raffles was awarded a BT-220IU wind farm vessel contract by Norway-based OIM Wind. The unit targets US and European markets and will start operating by the end of 2022. It will be equipped with an onboard integrated battery pack and LNG-powered engines. Again in last year October, China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) sealed a deal with Norway’s Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) to construct a wind turbine generator vessel.

Apart from Chines e yard constructing offshore wind vessels for operators and owners from foreign countries, they are also building offshore wind units in Chinese waters. By 2029, China plans to increase its offshore wind power production capacity to 50 gigawatts. This will increase the nation’s total wind energy production capacity to 10% compared to the current 3%. The provinces that will benefit from these installations include Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong.

China plans to build nine vessels by 2022. Seven out of the nine have a jack-up design, one vessel with a shipped design, and the other with a bottom-supported design. Some reliable sources say that Chinese yards take 18 months to finish installing an offshore wind farm vessel. Most offshore wind vessels that are ordered by Chinese operators have local designs, which are provided by engineering houses like ZMPC and Marine Design, Shanghai Bestway Marine Engineering Design, and Research Institute of China.

Lifting capacity Voltaire, which is an offshore wind vessel constructed at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry’s Nantong facility, provides a lifting capacity of 3000 tonnes. The vessel belongs to Belgian ship-owner Jan De Nul Group. This vessel can carry 110 persons and can work in waters that are 80 metres deep. It is equipped with a DP2 system. The vessel will be complete in the first quarter of 2022, and it is expected to lift, transport, build offshore wind turbines, and decommissioning offshore gas and oil facilities.  China plans to get to the apex of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060. At the end of 2019, China was operating several offshore wind power projects with a capacity of 11GW.

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By Adam