Scorpio Bulkers Inc. has signed a Letter of Intent to construct a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WITV) with options for additional vessels.
Emanuele A. Lauro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Scorpio Bulkers is embarking on a new and exciting journey. The world urgently needs to reduce emissions and offshore wind will make a pivotal contribution. We appreciate the encouragement and assistance of multiple partners – including suppliers, customers, and shipbuilders – as we take a significant first step in transitioning the Company towards a sustainable future. This strategic direction now aligns with our future customers, investors, finance providers and the growing momentum in global public policy. At the same time, the Board of Directors carefully considered this project and believes that this transition will result in higher and more predictable shareholder returns in a structural growth market. Our transition has begun.”
He added, “Scorpio has a history of executing complex maritime projects and of building teams and expertise to enter new markets. We are fully committed to this new direction as an area of significant value creation for our shareholders and alignment with our multiple stakeholders.”
The initial vessel will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for delivery that is scheduled in 2023. This WTIV is an NG-16000X design GustoMSC (a subsidiary of National Oilwell Varco NOV:NYSE), and includes a 1500 Leg Encircling Crane (LEC) from Huisman Equipment B.V. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $265-$290 million, subject to final design modifications. The contract is expected to be signed in early Q4 2020, and will include options to construct up to an additional three units having similar specifications.
This WTIV will be one of the most sophisticated dedicated turbine installation vessels in the world. It will have the capacity to install onto pre-prepared foundations the largest wind turbines currently designed, at a height of over 185 meters above sea level and in water depth in excess of 65 meters. The vessel incorporates various features and green innovations that significantly improve the operating window and efficiency and accelerate all-important “time to first power” for customers.
Offshore wind is a proven technology and represents a significant opportunity for the world to respond to the challenge of emissions reduction. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 15% for the next decade. There is a growing shortage of vessels that can install and maintain next-generation turbines core to this growth.