American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) News ABS News ABS Hosts Industry Group to Address Rapidly Developing US Offshore Wind Market

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ABS Hosts Industry Group to Address Rapidly Developing US Offshore Wind Market, Specialized Vessels Needed to Support Risks and Challenges of Developments

Posted on Dec 23, 2019

ABS recently hosted its Offshore Focus Series with a session on “Offshore Renewables: Leveraging Fleet Capabilities to Support Demand” in New Orleans before the start of the International Workboat Show. 

Offshore Wind: The Future is Now

Watch additional coverage of this event and read more information about offshore windfarm support vessels.

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Vessel owners, designers, developers and shipyards gathered to hear leading experts from the offshore wind community to address future development in the U.S. and understand how the industry can support this growing development with both new and existing vessels and technology. Matt Tremblay, Senior Vice President, ABS Global Offshore, kicked off the event by welcoming attendees and inviting open dialogue on this emerging market. “US Offshore Wind is an exciting market. We see many opportunities in this area over the next decade. It’s not so much a question of how much growth, but how fast that growth is going to happen and how much capacity is available in the existing market on the design side, construction side and operation side to support the growth within realistic timelines.”

To give more insight into the size of the market, Clarksons shared a global and US outlook report citing the rapid growth of renewables, with onshore and offshore wind to produce 18% of power generation by 2050. Of this, offshore wind is expected to contribute approximately 500 GW, or roughly 14%.


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To address the capabilities needed for vessel innovation to support these anticipated wind projects, ABS facilitated a panel discussion from leading industry experts including Vard, Seacor, Shell, MHI Vestas and WindServe Marine. The panel discussed various topics including the vessel requirements needed to support wind farms, and the risks and challenges to scale the fleet for the expected US development. Some of the challenges addressed include specialized vessels needed to support increasing turbine size and complexity, vessel performance requirements and their impact on safety, and vessel conversions versus new construction. The points addressed generated a lively discussion from the attendees in regards to possible solutions that will help control costs while maintaining safety and efficiency in the supply chain of wind farm development.

Following the panel discussion, Dr. Wei Huang, Director, ABS Global Offshore Support, discussed how ABS leverages its offshore experience by providing class support for offshore wind farm assets with a wealth of technical expertise and advisory services including Rules and Guides to support safety enhancement and OPEX reduction.

Mr. Kash Mahmood, Senior Vice President, ABS Digital Solutions, went on to explain the application of digital technologies in wind projects and how to utilize digital twins for asset integrity management to support maintenance optimization and OPEX reduction.

The session concluded with discussions from leaders within the US Coast Guard and Winston & Strawn LLP on how owners and operators can navigate U.S. regulatory requirements and the Jones Act for successful installations. 

Attendees found the event extremely insightful about the future of US Offshore Wind and specifically the vessels needed to support planned development. ABS plans to host additional sessions related to renewables as part of its Offshore Focus Series.