Austal Lands Contract for Offshore Support Vessels

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Following the launch of Austal’s Wind Express series in mid 2010, the company is pleased to announce the award of a contract for the design and construction of three purpose-built 21 meter offshore support vessels (OSVs) for Turbine Transfers Limited, based in Holyhead, United Kingdom.

The Austal-built OSV catamarans will be used to transport service crews and equipment to the many offshore wind farms that are located off the coastlines of several European countries. Turbine Transfers is a well established fleet owner that has been supporting wind farm owners and operators for a number of years. The company currently owns and operates a fleet of 18 vessels. The Austal-built OSVs will be the first that Turbine Transfers has commissioned outside the United Kingdom.

Managing Director of Turbine Transfers Captain Mark Meade says that Austal was selected based on the Western Australian company’s extensive experience in the design and construction of innovative aluminum vessels. “We have no doubt that Austal will successfully apply their extensive design and construction experience to the wind farm industry with their first Wind Express contract,” he says. “We look forward to taking delivery of these three vessels, which were designed to provide comfortable transits and safe turbine step-offs, whilst capably servicing Europe’s growing wind farm industry.”

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy notes that the contract award is an important first step for Austal in becoming a supplier to the growing European renewable energy market. “Supporting the currently installed offshore generating capacity is today an attractive market opportunity, but the projected growth in new wind farms and wave generator capacity over coming years makes this market sector a strategic component of the Austal Group’s commercial vessel business,” he says, adding that Austal brings a wealth of intellectual property to the needs of this new market and has already demonstrated this to Turbine Transfers by designing highly efficient vessels that will achieve greater speeds with a level of fuel efficiency that is superior to that of similar sized vessels in the Turbine Transfers fleet.

Austal has adopted an advanced fine entry chine hull form that, in association with a high tunnel height, will enable the vessels to operate at speeds of up to 30 knots with targeted seakeeping ability in up to 2 meters significant wave height. Due for delivery in May 2012, the vessels will be built at Austal’s Henderson shipyard. To learn more visit www.austal.com.