Offshore Wind to Get Entire Seacat Fleet Busy in 2018
UK vessel operator Seacat Services will see its fleet reach a maximum occupancy in 2018 with all 14 vessels under charter in certain periods of the year due to the growing demand in the offshore wind sector.
The contracts, some extending until 2020, include partners such as Ørsted and Siemens Gamesa and cover projects such as the Greater Gabbard, Galloper and Beatrice offshore wind farms, Seacat Services said.
In addition, the company sees the achievement as a result of a shifting supply-demand balance in the offshore energy support vessel (OESV) market, which comes due to the market growth, but also volatility.
Namely, operators seek to prepare for projects by investing in new build programs, while aiming to maintain fleet occupancy and sustainable charter rates during periodic lulls in new offshore wind construction.
The growing number of projects creates a steady pipeline of construction-based and O&M work for the OESV and other vessel support markets, but also coincides with a slowdown in the number of new vessels entering the market, as operators come to the end of their immediate build programs, the company said.
“More broadly, as occupancy increases across the OESV market and the supply-demand balance starts to shift in favour of vessel operators, the value of strong relationships between operators and offshore wind project owners is likely to become increasingly apparent,” Ian Baylis, Managing Director at Seacat Services, said.
“Good working relationships and a sustainable long-term approach to vessel chartering will be crucial for keeping projects on track during the busiest period of offshore wind activity to date.”