Maersk and Edison Chouest join forces for US wind farms

The specialist shipping company Maersk Supply Service is to develop a wind farm feeder concept for the US market and is entering into a partnership with Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) for this purpose.

Based on a Maersk concept, Edison Chouest will enable a continuous transfer of turbine components at sea to accelerate the introduction of offshore wind power, the partners announced today.

Maersk Supply Service, a subsidiary of A.P. Moller Holding with a fleet of 30 offshore support vessels, has long been focused primarily on the oil/gas sector. The wind business is now also being promoted, but the company wants to concentrate on fewer core businesses and regions. One of these regions is North America.

Maersk Supply Service has already invested in the US offshore wind market, and the partnership with Edison Chouest to build a feeder vessel specifically designed for wind farms is “a natural next step”, according to the Danes.

Despite the recent fiscal setbacks and price spikes, the US is seen as a major growth market in the offshore industry, as well as in the shipping sector, as the country requires large amounts of renewable energy and has long coastlines. In the recent past, US politicians have already developed extensive strategies and identified offshore areas. In addition to the need for special ships to construct and supply wind farms, the logistics chain on land is seen as an obstacle. Due to the Jones Act requirements – only ships built in the USA and operated by US shipowners with US seafarers may be used, foreign companies may only hold a minority share – there is also a lack of capacity for large (installation) ships, heavy load terminals or hinterland connections as well as transport and service ships.

Edison, Maersk, Feeder, Offshore, Barge
Maersk Supply Service

“Maersk Supply Service’s new installation concept can significantly accelerate the installation of offshore wind farms with an estimated 30% increase in efficiency. The partnership with Edison Chouest makes this new technology available to the US offshore wind market and enables faster offshore wind installations in the US,” said Christian M. Ingerslev, CEO of Maersk Supply Service today.

Edison Chouest operates Maersk feeder concept

The purpose-built feeder spread comprises two tugs and two barges, scheduled for delivery in 2026. They will be operated by Edison Chouest and built by Bollinger Shipyards, the largest private shipyard group in the United States.
As a key component of the installation process, this new solution is designed to transport wind turbine components or foundations to the installation site while the wind installation vessel (WIV) remains on site to complete successive installations, enabling faster installation and thus bringing the wind farm online more quickly.

Edison Chouest Offshore says it operates a fleet of nearly 300 vessels up to 525 feet long. It is the largest provider of Jones Act-compliant offshore vessels and has the largest shipyard base in the USA.

“Our decades of offshore experience, efficiency and focus on technology can play an important role in the further development of the offshore wind segment in the US,” says Dino Chouest, executive vice president of Edison Chouest, adding that the speciality solution aims to logistically open up access to a greater number of US ports.

Maersk Supply Service’s stabilisation mechanism between the installation vessel and the barge makes installations far less dependent on weather conditions, reducing the number of operating days required to install a wind farm.

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Caption: Maersk Supply Service