Photo: PSV Farland; Source: Ulstein

Norwegian player giving new life to oil & gas vessel with conversion for offshore wind

Norwegian offshore vessel builder Ulstein has revealed the latest deal its investment arm Blue Ship Invest inked with Norside, allowing the latter to buy a platform supply vessel (PSV) – used in the oil and gas industry – for the purpose of converting it for offshore wind operations.  

Ulstein informed on Wednesday that Norway’s ship-owning company Norside took ownership of Blue Ship Invest’s PSV Farland and intends to convert it into a walk-to-work vessel for the offshore wind industry.

Hans Martin Gravdal, Norside CEO, remarked: “The ship has currently accommodation for 22 people, and will, after the conversion, have accommodation for totally 60 persons. A new accommodation module will be installed, and a battery package as well as a gangway and cranes.”

The vessel was originally built by Ulstein Verft and delivered under the name Blue King in 2016. Sverre Farstad renamed it to Farland – the same name as the first vessel of the original Farstad fleet which was delivered in 1959 – back in 2019 when it took over the vessel.

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The PSV Farland incorporates Ulstein’s PX121 design – a flexible design that combines a transit effective hull with large deck space – enabling lower fuel consumption, and thus, reducing harmful emissions while maintaining high operability.

Cathrine Kristiseter Marti, Ulstein’s CEO, commented: “We are pleased that a PX121 design will be converted for use in the growing offshore wind industry, giving the vessel a new life in the renewable segment.”

The vessel will be managed by OSM Offshore Bergen/Vestland Offshore and it will be renamed for the third time and operate under the new name, Norside Cetus.

As Ulstein previously pointed out, a large number of offshore vessels are cold stacked or idled due to the volatility of oil prices and the ongoing economic recession, which gives little hope for a quick and speedy recovery of the offshore oil and gas market. Therefore, there is potential for an alternative utilisation of these vessels in other markets.

Based on Ulstein’s statement, PSV, AHTS, and OCV vessels represent versatile platforms that can be adapted to multiple user applications and situations for alternative market uses by means of conversion, upgrades, and retrofit solutions.