First Jones Act compliant vessel almost complete
Jones Act compliance is a major focus of European companies aiming to secure work in the upcoming offshore wind projects in the United States. The Charybdis, the first Jones Act-compliant installation vessel in the US, should be completed in the last quarter of 2023.
The 1920 Jones Act, in US Federal law, requires that goods shipped between US ports be transported on ships that are built in the US. Several European companies have found a workaround, by transporting the wind turbine elements on US-flagged pontoons, while the installation vessel only handles the installation of the turbine.
With several gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be installed along the East Coast in the next decade, access to Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessels is of strategic importance to the American offshore wind market. DEME Offshore US has taken a major step forward on the path by signing a long-term deal with Barge Master to develop a US Jones Act-compliant feeder solution, for example.
Blue Ocean Energy Marine, a subsidiary of the Virginia-based company Dominion Energy, is currently building the first Jones Act-compliant, U.S.-based installation vessel, the Charybdis, named after a sea monster in Greek mythology. This US-flagged wind turbine foundation and installation vessel (WTIV) is currently under construction at the Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas. Completion of vessel construction and sea trials are expected to take place in the last quarter of this year.
This vessel can transport and install foundations and turbines of offshore wind facilities in water depths up to almost 65 metres. The ship’s hull has a length of about 143,8 metres, a width of 56 metres, and a main deck area of about 5388 square metres, making it one of the biggest vessels of its kind in the world. The vessel will feature a main crane with a boom length of 130 metres and an expected lifting capacity of about 1996 tonnes. It has accommodations for up to 119 people.
The Charybdis will soon be receiving a 2,200 metric tonne Huisman Leg Encircling Crane, which will ensure that the vessel will be fit-for-purpose for the installation of large-scale offshore wind developments in the U.S. The LEC is currently being shipped for Huisman, to the Brownsville yard aboard BigLift Shipping’s Happy Star.