North Star to build world’s first hybrid daughter craft

Written by Nick Blenkey
First hybrid daughter craft

Image: Chartwekk Marine

Daughter craft are used by the offshore wind industry to safely transfer technicians between the in-field service operation vessel (SOV), where they live while working offshore, to the wind turbines to undertake routine or remedial maintenance. They are also used to support trips to shore and making deliveries in-field.

Now, Aberdeen, Scotland, North Star Renewables has placed an order for what will be world’s first hybrid daughter craft vessels. The design has been developed in cooperation with Southampton, England, based naval architect firm Chartwell Marine.

An initial contract for two of the hybrid vessels will be awarded to a U.K. shipyard in September. They will be built to complement North Star’s growing SOV fleet and will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The hull form, equipment selection, innovation features and comfort are all focused specifically to suit the demands of offshore wind operations.

Over the last two years, North Star’s teams in Newcastle, Lowestoft and Aberdeen, have worked in close partnership with Chartwell Marine to produce a world-class high performance, comfortable and sustainable daughter craft vessel design.

It introduces hybrid propulsion into the daughter craft market for the first time, while setting a new standard for safe operations with an increased sea state operability at wave heights of up to 1.7 meters, said to be 33% higher than anything else currently available. The vessel also carries green technologies to reduce carbon emissions, configured for further improvements in green technologies as the sector evolves.

North Star’s Renewables Director Andrew Duncan, said: “The U.K. has the world’s largest offshore wind market backed by an experienced and innovative supply chain. We are committed to providing local content opportunities where possible, through direct and indirect employment, partnerships and supply chain—our annual spend is tens of millions of pounds.

“Our relationship and collaboration with Chartwell Marine has ensured that we are bringing a transformational daughter craft design to the industry, using the latest available technologies to increase safety, performance, reliability, comfort and reduce emissions.

“This is an exciting period for our business, as we continue on this journey with Chartwell Marine towards becoming the first SOV operator in the world with a fleet of hybrid daughter craft built right here in the U.K.”

Andy Page, managing director, Chartwell Marine, said: “We’re pleased to progress the next stages of the daughter craft design with North Star. The design builds on learnings from our low emission research & development project funded by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator, and, working with North Star, we have been able to develop an effective hybrid vessel that will live up to the demands of offshore wind operations.”

In addition to their regular duties, daughter craft also provide essential emergency safety and rescue cover. This is a core 24/7 service that North Star has been delivering to the oil and gas sector in the North Sea for the past 40 years. The firm has the world’s largest daughter rescue fleet, with 63 vessels on its books, often operating twin daughter craft from a single vessel.

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