Lloyd’s Register to class North Star’s two VARD-built methanol-ready CSOVs

Lloyd’s Register (LR), the UK’s classification society, has been awarded a contract to class two methanol-ready commissioning service operations vessels (CSOVs) being built by VARD, a global designer and shipbuilder of specialized vessels, for North Star, the UK’s offshore infrastructure support vessel operator.

Courtesy of Lloyd's Register

The classification society will conduct the design appraisal and survey of the CSOVs, due to be delivered in 2025 to North Star.

According to LR, the introduction of the two CSOVs will expand North Star’s capabilities to support commissioning and maintenance work essential to ensuring offshore wind farms can operate. Alongside their use as a logistics hub and warehouse, the ships are also said to provide in-field technicians with high-comfort accommodation.

The CSOVs will be built to VARD’s 4 22 design and feature a new methanol-ready hybrid-propulsion system coupled with a hull design optimized for low fuel consumption and resistance. The vessel’s hulls will be built in Romania, before being towed to Norway for outfitting with an expected delivery date of spring 2025.

The VARD 4 22 design has been developed specifically for North Star, with new methanol-ready hybrid-propulsion solutions and an increased number of single cabins, according to VARD.

In September 2023, Netherlands-based SMST was awarded a contract by VARD for the supply of two sets of mission equipment for the CSOVs.


To note, the new tonnage is said to increase North Star’s offshore wind capabilities as it progresses its ambition to add 40 hybrid-powered SOVs to its fleet by 2040.

Michael North, LR Commercial Manager for Norway and Iceland, stated: “LR is pleased to have been awarded the contract to conduct the design appraisal and survey of VARD’s two CSOVs for North Star. The build, design and delivery of these two methanol-ready vessels will represent a positive forward step for the maritime energy transition and LR is looking forward to providing continued support to VARD and the Norwegian shipbuilding industry.”

Thomas Brathaug, Project Manager, VARD, said: “Based on the great cooperation prior to the ship-building contract, we are confident that Lloyd’s Register will be a good partner through the completion of the engineering and construction of these vessels with several innovative solutions.”

James Bradford, North Star’s Chief Technology Officer, commented: “Our business enjoys a longstanding relationship with Lloyd’s Register, with many of our existing fleet aligned with its classifications, benchmarking the high standard our ships are built to. Ensuring that we drive down emissions is critical to our long-term goals. Having these assets delivered methanol-ready will allow us to decarbonize our service offering to our client base and in particular our European clients who will face carbon taxation challenges in the near future.”

LR noted that the project builds further on its work in Norway for the delivery of alternative-fueled vessels. In 2022, LR awarded approval in principle (AiP) to Norwegian ship owner Egil Ulvan Rederi for its With Orca zero-emissions bulk carrier and the Torghatten Nord project to provide a hydrogen ferry for Norway’s Vestfjorden route, connecting Bodø, Røst, Værøy and Moskenes.