A naval architect has warned that as European offshore wind markets continue to expand with larger and more ambitious projects, there is a looming shortage of Crew Transfer Vessels (CTV).
Chartwell Marine said that expedient investment in new builds will be required to tackle a shortage of 22m – 24m offshore wind crew transfer vessels, especially as build slots at yards are limited. Many of these existing vessels, commonly used for UK CTV operations, have reached retirement or require a refit following over 10years in service.
Andy Page, managing director of Chartwell Marine, said: “The UK vessel manufacturing industry is contesting with a skills shortage, on top of a full order book. While commitments from Government on decarbonisation are essential, the industry needs to take on some risk in order to fulfil the demands of the next round of offshore wind development.”
The offshore wind industry continues to expand in Europe, with Round 4 UK projects in build, development commencing in the French market, and continuing construction activity in the German North Sea. Prominent CTV operators have highlighted unprecedented levels of fleet occupancy and an imbalance in supply and demand for existing vessels, stated Chartwell Marine. It attributed a further shortage to competing demands for vessels entering new markets,
However, while UK shipyards, in particular, have recently felt the impact of a shortfall in new CTV orders, precipitated by a period of low vessel demand between 2016 and 2018, they are primed to respond to the building challenge – with agreements in place for pioneering vessel designs, said Chartwell Marine.