First steel cut for IWS Fleet wind farm support vessel

Jan. 17, 2022
Construction has started on the IWS Skywalker at the China Merchants Heavy Industry shipyard in Jiangsu.

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Construction has started on IWS Fleet’s first construction service operation vessel (CSOV) at the China Merchants Heavy Industry shipyard in Jiangsu, China.

The vessel will be named IWS Skywalker and is expected to start its first contract at the Dogger Bank wind farm in the UK North Sea in summer 2023.

The IWS Skywalker is designed specifically to support commissioning works during the construction of wind farms, as well as supporting operations and maintenance during the lifetime of offshore wind farms, bottom fixed and floating.

The hybrid powered vessel will be the first ship in the industry capable of zero emission operations, the company claimed. The vessel is designed by Kongsberg Maritime and will be equipped with the latest generation fully compensated gangway and crane from MacGregor.

According to the company, the IWS Skywalker has several “industry firsts.” For instance, the vessel has the largest battery pack with solar panels for charging, hull and propulsion design increasing operability and reducing emissions, and an energy consumption estimated to be 20% lower than other CSOV’s currently under construction. The vessel is also the first in the industry to have the “DNV SILENT” notation, which focuses on minimizing the impact on marine life below water.

The Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (ENOVA) has granted EUR 1 million ($1.1 million) to support the environmental initiatives on the IWS Skywalker. The vessel’s advanced technology will reduce annual emissions by more than 1,300t CO2 equivalents, the company claimed.

The second Skywalker class vessel is expected to be delivered in mid-2023.