HOCHTIEF Solutions has commissioned the construction of a further heavy-lift jack-up vessel from the Crist shipyard in Poland for the installation of offshore wind farms. The vessel, dubbed “VIDAR,” is to start operating in 2013 to meet the huge demand for special-purpose equipment in this booming market.
The VIDAR will be HOCHTIEF’s fourth heavy-duty craft, following its sister vessel, the INNOVATION, and the ODIN and THOR jack-up platforms. It will be used for the company’s own offshore construction contracts and will also be chartered out. Rainer Eichholz, a member of the HOCHTIEF Solutions Executive Board, says, “We are banking on the move to alternative energy sources and accommodating market players‘ huge demand with our special-purpose vessel.”
Like HOCHTIEF‘s other heavy-duty equipment, the new special-purpose jack-up vessel will also speed up installation and servicing times for the latest generation of offshore power plants. The VIDAR’s main features will be a 1,200-metric-ton crane, a loading capacity of up to 6,500 metric tons, a powerful engine allowing speeds of up to 12 knots, and the ability to work in water depths of up to 50 meters. These properties make the VIDAR one of the most powerful lifting vessels in Northern Europe.
The financing of the vessel is by means of an operate-lease structure with a subsidiary of Santander acting as the lessor, and with the involvement of KfW IPEX Bank, Norddeutsche Landesbank, the Spanish CaixaBank, and Bankhaus Lampe.
Like the other heavy-duty members of the fleet, the VIDAR will be built at the Crist shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. Parallel to this order, HOCHTIEF Solutions has commissioned the construction of three large work pontoons. In addition, work is currently underway at Crist on the fit-out of the VIDAR’s somewhat larger sister vessel, the INNOVATION, which is to be operated and chartered out from mid-2012 by HGO InfraSea Solutions, a HOCHTIEF joint venture with GeoSea, Belgium. The INNOVATION’s first assignment will be at the Global Tech I wind farm, which HOCHTIEF Solutions will be building in the German North Sea. Numerous project proposals for and inquiries about the VIDAR have already been made.
With its high-performance equipment and innovative techniques, HOCHTIEF has made a name for itself as a leading partner to the dynamic offshore wind market. The company offers the planning, development, construction, and operation of such plant, and is expecting work done in the triple-figure millions in this segment in the coming years.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 21, 2012; Image: hochtief