New York Selects Equinor for Largest US Offshore Wind Award

Sand Pebble , I as well as you hope you are wrong regarding CATO institute and Jones Act. I know quite a bit of dock space is being requested/contracted by the wind folks. Dominion Power is heavily involved. Some purpose built vessels are under contract in the USA, Are we too
stupid to learn from people from another country who are supposedly experts in this industry? I hope not. I think it would be a hoot for me, Bug, and Ccaptain to spend a short time over a beer or two, no cameras please, we may curse. But have the wives at a separate table .Do film them though , that will be a hoot as well.

There is a company, possibly it’s called Windserve, that has had some crew boats, the call them CTVs, built in Rhode Island to European designs. The sent the American crews to Europe for CTV operations training. Sure, these are small simple vessels compare to turbine installation vessels, still, it’s the right Jones Act compliant model.

Same thing can be done with whatever other vessels are needed.

They should be hiring American crew and sending them to Europe for training right now.

Since Equinor is 76% owned by the Norwegian government, it should have no problem hiring Americans and getting them visas to be trained and get work experience in Europe.

A different distraction with BP and post-Brexit UK, but again there should be no problem getting UK visas for Americans.

The eco freaks will never allow very much offshore wind to be built with sight of land. It’s all about aesthetic views, but they’ll claim bird protection.

BP is a multinational company with a very blurry corporate nationality, by some estimates the majority of BP share holders are institutions and private investors from the USA. It might have its HQ in the UK but it is not a very British company anymore.

The UK government had a majority 51% share holding in BP until 1979 when Maggie Thatcher sold 5% off, then she sold off all the remaining government shares in 1987. Some say it was a massive mistake she sold of so much state owned assets, as we see from Norway’s example with equinor they chose to keep the most of their oil profits for government use rather than have it filter off to tax havens.

You got the figure wrong, the Norwegian Government owns 67% of the shares in Equinor. Here is the list of share holder as mandated by Oslo Børs and NYSE:

BTW; Equinor does not have any commercial offshore wind farms in Norway, but are majority owners in a number of wind farms in the UK and EU. They are also owner of the first commercial floating wind farm, which is in operation off Scotland.

PS> Like in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry the operators of wind farms does not own any Installation Vessels, SOVs, CTVs, or any other other vessels or companies engaged in the installation or servicing of their wind farms.

As you probably know Equinor has interests and operations in oil and gas activities, both onshore and offshore, in many parts of the world.

Their onshore activity in the US has resulted in massive losses, for which they have been criticised in the Storting (Norwegian Parliament):

The wikipedia page is wrong, the table on the right says Government of Norway (73%) and Government Pension Fund of Norway (3%).

apparently I am the only one to read the news…even gCaptain doesn’t have this in their feed

New Jones Act measure will clarify rules for building offshore wind power

Kirk Moore

A Deepwater Wind turbine under construction off Rhode Island with the European jack-up vessel Brave Tern. Deepwater Wind photo.

Congress’ amendments to the Jan. 1 National Defense Authorization Act “cleared up any ambiguity” that all U.S. laws governing offshore energy apply equally to the new wind sector, a top maritime lawyer says.

“Prior to that, it wasn’t so clear…All those laws are crystal-clear now,” Charlie Papavizas, chair of maritime practice in the international law firm Winston & Strawn, told a national online audience during the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s Ports and Vessels online conference Tuesday.

After months of lobbying by U.S. offshore operators and wind industry advocates, Congress added provisions to the annual defense spending bill to specify the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, must apply to vessels and cargo involved in offshore wind development.

Lawmakers came to bipartisan agreement that the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which has governed offshore oil and gas development, likewise applies to renewable energy.

The Jones Act requires that cargos moved between U.S. ports be carried by U.S.-flagged and crewed vessels. Questions of whether exemptions can be granted for using foreign vessels and crews – particularly wind turbine installation vessels, or WTIVs which have yet to be built in the U.S. – are an issue the nascent industry needs resolved.

That in turn could trigger a spate of new rulings from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which reviews industry questions that arise under those laws.

Requests for rulings have languished, some for years, because of uncertainty within the agency, said Papavizas. “That logjam is now gone” and maritime businesses can anticipate many more rulings in coming months, Papavizas predicted.

Another major factor is still lurking in the federal court system, where long-running litigation over the Jones Act between oil companies and offshore operators is working its way through a Washington, D.C. court.

“That litigation is still pending” and could bear on how offshore wind development is regulated too, Papvizas cautioned. “At any moment we might get a ruling.”

President Biden will prove himself a strong supporter of the Jones Act and developing U.S. maritime jobs from offshore wind, Papavizas told Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

“He’s a strong supporter” of the Merchant Marine Act, said Papvizas. “I would not expect that being amended or repealed…He’s very tight with maritime labor.”

How the Biden administration approaches permitting for offshore wind construction will be a key pivot point for when developers and shipbuilders commit to building new U.S. flag vessels.

With costs for building a U.S. flag WTIV estimated at $500 million, investors are hesitant without having that book of business lined up” for future offshore construction, said Matthew Rosenberg, a senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office and an author of an agency report issued in December on vessel needs for the wind industry.

The keel has been laid for the first Jones Act-compliant WTIV, which will be used to build Dominion Energy’s planned 2.6-gigawatt projects off Virginia.

But uncertainty was brought in again when the outgoing Trump administration’s Department of Interior leadership abruptly announced the Vineyard Wind developers would need to restart the permit process with the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management for their 800-megawatt plan off southern New England.

“A lot of the industry was waiting to see if BOEM would approve Vineyard Wind,” said Rosenberg.

Need to say though, I simply do not see where an installation vessel could cost $500M to build new even in the USA but why on earth not use a retired jackup rig or liftboat since there are many of those which are US built and available?


Some decently welcome news.

That does seem like a ridiculously inflated estimate considering the contract cost for the NSMV (training ships) are only $300M a piece.

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Are they going to allow foreign built, foreign flag wind vessels, just as they do drill rigs?

Are they going to be handing out work visas to foreigners, just as they do in the oil patch?

I have zero faith in interpretations by US Customs or the USCG.

If they allow foreign built wind vessels, laid up oil rigs can be converted.

Installation vessels have legs, DP3 Class and a BIIIG crane. That cost money.

Yeah, I considered that. But DP isn’t new to US builds, neither are jacking legs, and the biiig crane would likely be bought from overseas. All put together even in our overpriced shipyards still cannot possibly hit $500Mil. Ten years ago you could build the most advanced deepwater drillship in the world for just over that amount. A DP boat with legs and crane just isn’t that complicated.

And on that note, any HOS hands know roughy the price of the HOS Warhorse? Obviously thats not the same as a WTIV but thats a fairly recent build of a decent size (DP2), so it’s a decent baseline to scale up from from a cost standpoint.

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All those laid up rigs are either foreign built (thus disqualified) or old and totally unsuitable for conversion to Installation vessels.

When was the last Drilling rig built in the US?

Yes US yards have the ability to build Installation vessels, but how long would it take and at what cost??

A modern Drillship built in S.Korea cost US$ 750 Mill. less than 10 year ago.
Now you can pick up one at scrap value:

BTW; Today the same yards would offer to build a fully equipped Installation vessel for less that half that.

If you have a workable plans for how to convert a drillship into a functioning Installation vessel you could probably find investors to fund the project.
But would you be allowed to operate within US EEZ??

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Lots of foreign rigs and other vessels working in the US oil patch. If the same rules apply to wind, there will be lots of foreign vessels working in the wind patch.

I’m hoping for a strict Jones Act approach, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Lot of US rigs, construction barges and OSVs working all over the world before.
Other countries learnt how to design. build and operate them over time and now they are working all over the world, incl. in the US.
It is called natural evolution.

Oil and gas jack-ups are probably too big and/or not self-maneuverable enough to be used for wind farms.

I was thinking of DP drill ships and semisubmersibles for conversion to offshore wind.

There is no hurry. The wind will wait. I’d prefer to see all new US built wind vessels.

Isn’t Maersk, a Danish based company, sponsoring training of windmill rig workers(?) at community college level in Massassuchetts?

No. It wouldn’t.