SINGAPORE: Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp said on Thursday (Dec 17) that it is building the first offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the US for American energy company Dominion Energy.
This follows the announcement in October that Keppel had secured a contract worth about S$600m in the offshore renewable energy industry.
The contract will be for the "engineering, procurement and construction" of the vessel, which is scheduled for delivery in 2023, said Keppel in a press release on Thursday.
The vessel is being built by Keppel Offshore & Marine's (Keppel O&M) shipyard in the US, Keppel AmFELS, and will be Jones Act compliant.
Keppel AmFELS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel O&M, and was established in 1990.
The vessel will be available for charter hire to offshore wind developers, in support of several US wind projects. It is expected to be fully utilised on projects on the east coast of the US exceeding 5 gigawatts of offshore wind construction through to 2027.
“We are pleased to be selected by Dominion Energy to build the first offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the US, which is also one of the largest vessels of its kind in the world," said Keppel O&M chief executive officer Chris Ong.
Dominion Energy’s president and chief executive officer Robert Blue described the move as a "monumental step" for the offshore wind industry in the US.
"Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly-efficient turbine technologies," said Mr Blue.
"This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the US."
The Jones Act is a law that requires goods moved between US ports to be carried by ships built domestically and staffed by US crew members.
Mr Blue noted that his company had chosen Keppel AmFELS to build the vessel as they provided an "efficient, economical and versatile solution", backed by a reputation for delivering "high quality" vessels safely and reliably.
Work on the vessel, which will be named Charybdis, began with a keel laying ceremony - where steel is laid to form the first part of the keel - on Wednesday at KeppelAMFELS’ yard in Brownsville, Texas.