Jack-ups flock to China as offshore wind construction surges
Jack-up vessels are in high demand in China’s surging offshore wind market and OHT’s fleet of semi-submersible heavy transportation vessels is working on delivering them to this construction hot spot.
This includes the transportation of DEME Offshore’s Apollo from Rotterdam and the transportation of two additional liftboats and a jack-up barge from Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The four units are being transported to various locations in China, all destined for installation projects in the Chinese offshore wind market.
Three of OHT’s five heavy transport vessels are presently transporting assets to China which will each begin installation on three separate Chinese wind farms.
MV Falcon recently transported the jack-up barge JB118 from Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Guangzhou, China, and has successfully discharged the liftboat QMS Gladiator in Xiamen, where she will be utilized for the Changle offshore wind installation project.
The liftboat, measuring over 100 metres in length and weighing more than 10,000 MT, was transported from Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
MV Albatross is mobilizing to transport the nearly 15,000 MT jack-up wind turbine installation vessel Apollo, from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Guangzhou in China, where she will be working on the Yuedian Shaba offshore wind installation project.
Meanwhile, MV Osprey, also headed to Guangzhou, is preparing to transport another self-elevating platform from Abu Dhabi, UAE, with arrival estimated in May. The liftboat will be used for offshore construction projects in Southern China.
Roald Kaper, Head of Transportation for OHT said: ”These contracts are significant for OHT, aligning our strong market leading position in transportation with our vision to be a leading player in the transport and installation of offshore wind turbines, contributing to a sustainable energy supply for the future.”
The company announced its entry to the offshore wind installation market in 2018 with the order of the foundation installation vessel, Alfa Lift. Since then, further announcements were made in 2020 which will see OHT’s installation fleet grow with the introduction of a next-generation wind turbine installation vessel, plus options for three more.
”The globalisation of offshore wind presents huge opportunities for OHT. The sector is strong and growing rapidly,” said Torgeir E. Ramstad, CEO of OHT.
”The vast offshore wind developments in China, which is fast overtaking the UK in terms of installed capacity, demands an ever-increasing requirement for installation and maintenance equipment and vessels. Our trusted fleet of transportation vessels are ideal for ensuring the right assets are delivered to the relevant locations at the right time.”
Why the offshore wind rush in China?
Back in 2019, China introduced price-based tenders and announced that the feed-in-tariff rate for projects consented in future tenders would be phased out for 2022, requiring bid prices to compete with wholesale market rates from then on.
In order to qualify for the feed-in-tariffs, developers which have been successful in lease auctions since 2019 must commission the projects by the end of 2021. This has resulted in a development rush that saw over 5 GW of new capacity come online in 2020, with over 10 GW at various stages of construction at the end of 2020.
At the end of 2020, China had 9,898 MW of installed offshore wind capacity, only 308 MW less than the UK which had 10,206 MW of installed capacity and is still holding the top spot.
China accounted for more than a half (3,060 MW) of the world’s installed offshore wind capacity (6 GW) in 2020.