On July 7, 2023 the Shipping Telegraph was reporting that the German-based Bernhard Schulte Offshore ordered the design and construction of two wind farm commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs) of the ULSTEIN SX222 design at Ulstein Verft for delivery in 2025, with the option of four (two+two) additional vessels.

Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein Verft has now announced that these shipbuilding options have been transferred to institutional investors advised by US based J.P. Morgan Asset Management, who have at the same time declared the first two vessels.

The J.P. Morgan Global Transportation Group has been investing in the transportation industry since 2010, and actively manages over $8bn in transportation assets in the maritime, energy logistic, intermodal, rail and aircraft segments.

The wind farm CSOVs contracted have a length of 89.6 m and a beam of 19.2 m with a large, centrally positioned walk-to-work motion-compensated gangway and elevator tower for personnel and cargo transfers.

Furthermore, a 3D compensated crane capable of 5-ton-offshore-cargo lifts is installed. The optimized on-board logistics includes large storage capacities and stepless approach to the offshore installations. 

The ULSTEIN SX222 design platform is adapted to the shipowner’s needs, including single cabins for 110 persons. In total, the vessels will be able to accommodate 132 people.

The ships will have hybrid battery propulsion and be prepared for methanol fuel to enable carbon-neutral operations.

Andrian Dacy, global head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Global Transportation Group, said: “We are excited to add to our existing presence in the offshore wind maintenance sector,” and he added, “These latest technology Construction Service Operation Vessels (CSOVs) will play a critical role in the development and delivery of renewable energy and global energy decarbonization.”

Gunvor Ulstein, chief executive of Ulstein Group, stated that ”The offshore wind industry is an important enabler to achieve the climate goals, and we believe that our fuel-efficient ships will be vital assets in this mission.”