First SOVs in China: Ulstein awarded offshore wind ship design contract for Shanghai Electric and ZPMC

On 25 January 2022, the ZPMC shipyard, China, and Ulstein Design & Solutions AS signed the ship design contract on two types of Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) for Shanghai Electric Windpower Group. These are the first purpose-made SOVs designed for the Chinese Offshore Wind industry.

Service Operation Vessels: ZPMC & Ulstein.
Service Operation Vessels: ZPMC & Ulstein.

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Ulstein Design & Solutions and Shanghai Electric have joined forces to be the first movers into the Chinese offshore wind Operations & Maintenance (O&M) segment. As the first and most advanced SOVs in China, the design process was carried out based on Ulstein’s vast experience within offshore wind farm O&M practice.

Representatives from ZPMC and Ulstein's sales office in Shanghai at the signing on the basic design SOV contracts.
Representatives from ZPMC and Ulstein's sales office in Shanghai at the signing on the basic design SOV contracts.

The first SOV project contains two different designs, both with the ULSTEIN iconic design features, the X-BOW® and the X-STERN®. Accommodated with 60 POB and 100 POB respectively, these designs are the future enablers to their owner, Shanghai Electric, providing high-efficient, robust, and state-of-the-art O&M service to the end customers. Both designs will focus on optimizing their operational capacity, capability and economy. With batterie installed, the vessels will provide a greener footprint when servicing the renewable energy segment.


Market leader in offshore wind

“The choice for Ulstein design has been based on their market leadership, proven track record and local presence. During the process of developing these concepts, Ulstein is dedicated with their professionalism and expertise. Close collaborations among Ulstein, the yard ZPMC and Shanghai Electric have set a strong foundation for the projects. Shanghai Electric is the leading provider of offshore wind turbines in China, and with these two world-class SOVs, we believe we can bring more values to our clients and provide a safer working environment to our colleagues at sea,” says Ma Chengbin, General Manager of Engineering Service Company at Shanghai Electric.

With more than 50% market share, Shanghai Electric is the largest offshore wind turbine supplier in China and is also a large integrated equipment manufacturing enterprise.

Breakthrough project in Chinese offshore wind

“We are proud to announce this important milestone together with Shanghai Electric and ZPMC. The cooperation with the ZPMC shipyard goes back to 2012 when the Ulstein DLS 4200 heavy-lift vessel design was constructed there, and currently, the JSD 6000 project, another Ulstein heavy lift vessel design, is in good progress at this yard. We are looking forward to the cooperation with ZPMC and Shanghai Electric. It’s grateful to be part of this breakthrough project. Together we are committed to transforming innovation into safer, greener and more sustainable operations,” comments managing director Runar Muren at Ulstein Design & Solutions AS.

The usage of SOVs will significantly improve the efficiency of service operations at offshore wind farms in China, including the stages of construction support and O&M. The two designs will be reliable and environmentally friendly platforms and comfortable workplaces at sea. Much consideration has been taken in order to provide technicians with safe and stepless access from the vessel to the wind turbines and ensure sufficient storage and well-organized logistics onboard the vessels.

“We are honoured to be selected by Shanghai Electric and ZPMC to design the first SOVs in China. These will be a part of a new standard for future O&M operations in China. We have been working very closely with the clients and our colleagues in Norway and will continue to further develop the Chinese offshore wind industry”. says Johannes Røren, managing director at Ulstein Marine Services.

This contract marks Ulstein’s entry into the Chinese offshore wind market after the first dedicated offshore wind support vessel (Siem Moxie, now: Seaway Moxie) made her entry into the European market in 2014. Ulstein has, in the years thereafter, designed and built several other O&M vessels for the European offshore wind market. Ulstein has also developed Jones Act compliant O&M vessel designs for the US market. The entry into the Chinese and US market, as well as our position in the European market, is not only a milestone for each market separately, but holistically a recognition of Ulstein’s capability in the offshore wind segment.

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