MODEC’s SOFEC wins green light for its electric charging buoy

SOFEC, a MODEC Group company, has been awarded Approval in Principle (AiP) by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for its electric charging buoy.

“As a part of SOFEC’s commitment to the energy transition and renewable energy, we are pleased to announce that ABS has awarded the newly developed electric charging buoy an AiP,” MODEC said.

The solution was developed amid growing demand for the reduction of carbon emissions and pollution in the marine industry. One area of interest is the expanding use of electric shore power and renewable energy as fuel sources.

Vessels traversing the sea or nestled in harbors away from the quayside find themselves devoid of the convenient tether to shore electric power, which allows the vessel to switch off on-board fossil fuel engines or battery systems. This absence confines them to rely on traditional fossil fuel engines.

This dependence, although practical for the current maritime landscape, poses challenges in terms of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency. The imperative to mitigate the ecological impact of marine transport and enhance the overall resilience of maritime operations has spurred the exploration of alternative propulsion technologies.

What is more, offshore vessels, including tugboats, Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs), Service Operation Vessels (SOVs), integral to the maintenance and support of offshore wind farms and other renewable energy structures, are destined to become fully electric, creating a need for offshore electric charging stations.

SOFEC has tapped into over 50 years of experience in the design of marine terminals and mooring systems to design the buoy and address the need for offshore power transfer.

Traditional SOFEC Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (CALM) buoy designs have integrated electrical power cable management solutions that allow vessel(s) mooring while utilizing externally supplied power.

With this proven concept, SOFEC aims to modify the buoy designs to accommodate offshore electric power transfer from seaports or offshore wind farm substations to electric vessels.

The design is part of the company’s strategy of delivering sustainable solutions to the maritime industry as the sector invests strenuous efforts in decarbonizing its operations.

Earlier this year, SOFEC won an AiP from DNV for its refrigerated ammonia jetty-less transfer systems. The system uses using two mooring technologies 1) CALM Buoy and 2) Tower mooring solutions.

Image credit MODEC