Shimizu Plans Record Offshore Jack-Up Vessel

World’s Largest Wind Turbine Installation Vessel

Engineering contractor Shimizu has reported plans to build a record offshore installation vessel to serve Japan’s nascent wind energy sector.
Once complete it will be the largest in the world, capable of handling a new generation of breakbulk mega-turbines that are heavier and larger. Construction is scheduled to begin this quarter with the vessel set to be complete by October 2022.
The new design follows reforms in Japan that allow the creation of offshore wind farms beyond port-related areas, spurring an expected four gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2028.

JMUC, GustoMSC Produce Designs
The vessel’s self-elevating platform will enable it to handle wind turbines of up to 8 megawatt capacity and deliver a maximum lifting height of 158 meters. Detailed designs have been created by Japan Marine United Corp., which will also oversee construction.
Initial conceptual designs have been produced by Netherlands-based GustoMSC which will also deliver the jacking system and the crane.
The proposed jack-up vessel will 142 meters long, 50 meters wide and a maximum lifting capacity of 2,500 tonne for a crane.

Japan Wind Sector Opportunity
Currently Japan’s wind energy sector produces only a small proportion of the country’s electricity needs, but forecasts suggest that this is expected to change rapidly. As an island nation, Japan has great potential for offshore installations and as the cost of offshore projects has fallen investment interest has steadily risen.

Last month, French developer Naval Energies signed an agreement with Hitachi Zosen Corp. in Japan to collaborate on floating wind energy, envisaging floating windfarms with a capacity of several hundred megawatts.
“Among the many floaters that have been proposed, we consider that Naval Energies’ semi-submersible floater, which has many advantages, is one of the best on the market. We hope that Naval Energies and Hitachi Zosen will be able to contribute to the development of an industrial-scale floating wind energy industry in Japan,” said Takashi Fujita, general manager wind power for Hitachi Zosen.