Clarksons Platou Establishes Offshore Renewables Division

Integrated shipping services provider Clarksons Platou has consolidated its renewables experts into a dedicated global division to provide ship broking, market intelligence and commercial services specifically to the offshore renewables market.

Clarksons Platou has also brought in David Matthews, formerly with Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, to steer business development for the division, which will target work within offshore wind, as well as the wave and tidal sectors.

The division, with specialists in London, Aberdeen, Oslo, Houston, Singapore, Shanghai and soon Hamburg, is the outcome of a strategic review underway since the merger of Clarksons PLC and RS Platou ASA in 2015.

The review identified a gap in the offshore renewables market for global broking services that could match developers and their suppliers with the right mix of vessels to reduce risk and increase value throughout a wind farm’s lifecycle, the company said.

The gap has emerged as the global offshore wind market has grown, with a solid stream of projects expanding in size and scale, complexity and geographic spread.

Almost 12GW of offshore projects are scheduled for construction in Europe between now and 2020, and the development pipeline currently totals 24.2GW. While more than 90 percent of the world’s installed offshore wind capacity is in Europe, governments globally have set ambitious targets for offshore wind with markets starting to take off in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the U.S., Clarksons Platou said.

This forecast for growth means demand for installation, accommodation and support vessels, jack-ups, barges and all associated vessels is set for a steady upswing.

Clarksons Platou Divisional Director Offshore Renewables, Frederik Colban-Andersen said the size and scale of today’s offshore wind projects has created operational and contractual complexities that are comparable to Northern European oil and gas projects.

“Wind farms under construction now dwarf those built just ten years ago. They are multi-billion pound investments, sited in deeper water and further from shore, cover far greater areas and comprise more and larger turbines,” Colban-Andersen said.

“Vessels make up a significant percentage of a wind farm’s lifetime costs, so identifying requirements early can not only save money it also reduces exposure to risk. Buying cheap can mean buying twice, so investing more upfront in a vessel portfolio that is fit for purpose will save money in the long run, but to do that clients have to be confident in the intelligence and advise they are given.”

Clarksons Platou has been working in the background with offshore renewables since 2003, providing developers, vessel operators and shipyards with market analysis, vessel broking and contracting, first on the UK’s Round 1 and since then on strategies and procurement for wind farms in Denmark, UK and Germany.

The increasingly interdependent relationship between the maturing offshore wind market and the oil and gas sector was in part also the impetus for the launch of Clarksons Platou’s renewables division.

“Beyond their harsh marine environments, and being in the business of harvesting energy and getting it to the people, both sectors require bespoke technically-advanced vessels today and at the same time need to understand where their suppliers are likely to be in the future,” Colban-Andersen said.