Lloyd’s Register (LR) has been awarded the contract to class two methanol-ready Commissioning Service Operations Vessels (CSOVs) being built by VARD, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels, for the UK’s leading offshore infrastructure support vessel operator, North Star.
The new tonnage will increase North Star’s offshore wind capabilities as it progresses its ambition to add 40 hybrid powered SOVs to its fleet by 2040. The introduction of the two CSOVs will expand North Star’s capabilities to support commissioning and maintenance work essential to ensuring offshore wind farms can operate. Alongside their use as a logistics hub and warehouse, these ships also provide in-field technicians with high-comfort accommodation.
The CSOVs will be built to VARD’s unique 4 22 design and feature a new methanol-ready hybrid-propulsion system coupled with a hull design optimised for low fuel consumption and resistance. The vessel’s hulls will be built at Vard Braila, Romania before being towed to Vard Langsten in Norway for outfitting with an expected delivery date of Spring 2025.
The project builds further on LR’s work in Norway for the delivery of alternative fuelled vessels. In 2022 LR awarded Approval in Principle to Norwegian ship owner Egil Ulvan Rederi for its With Orca zero emissions bulk carrier – which won the Motorship Award in 2022 – and the Torghatten Nord project to provide a hydrogen ferry for Norway’s Vestfjorden route, connecting Bodø, Røst, Værøy and Moskenes.
Michael North, Lloyd’s Register Commercial Manager for Norway and Iceland, said: “LR is pleased to have been awarded the contract to conduct the design appraisal and survey of Vard’s two CSOVs for North Star. The build, design and delivery of these two methanol-ready vessels will represent a positive forward step for the maritime energy transition and LR is looking forward to providing continued support to Vard and the Norwegian shipbuilding industry.”
Thomas Brathaug, Project Manager, VARD, said: “Based on the great cooperation prior to the ship building contract, we are confident that Lloyd’s Register will be a good partner through the completion of the engineering and construction of these vessels with several innovative solutions.”
James Bradford, North Star’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “Our business enjoys a longstanding relationship with Lloyd’s Register, with many of our existing fleet aligned with its classifications, benchmarking the high standard our ships are built to. Ensuring that we drive down emissions is critical to our long-term goals. Having these assets delivered methanol ready will allow us to decarbonise our service offering to our client base and in particular our European clients who will face carbon taxation challenges in the near future.”