China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the country’s leading marine contractor, has signed an agreement with China's offshore rig and vessel manager SinoOcean to charter an accommodation and construction barge for an offshore wind farm construction job.

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The vessel chartered by CCCC Third Harbour Engineering will work on offshore wind projects off China’s Fujian province having been modified at the vessel’s builder COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry’s Zhoushan facility in Zhejiang province.

It is not clear about the dayrate of the charter, though offshore wind contracting sources said the rate averages 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) for installing an offshore wind turbine in China.

Upstream understand the charter has several options after the first job offshore Fujian is finished towards the end of this year.

The flotel with DP3 system, now named Guo Hai An Hong, can accommodate 684 people, is equipped with a giant crane with lifting capacity of 300 metric tonnes, and has 2000 square metres of deck space.

COSCO initially built the 115.5-metre-long by 34-metres-wide vessel for BAO Provider of France.

In May last year, SinoOcean, COSCO, BAO Provider and AOS Cyprus signed an agreement to cancel the contract for provision of the vessel, which was then named as African Provider, a name implying that the vessel was initially intended for potential operation in West Africa.

In May this year, SinoOcean offered African Provider for use as a floating accommodation facility to be deployed offshore South East Asia in part to quarantine and treat people infected with Covid-19.

However, as African Provider could only provide accommodation for about 600 people, too small for the required facility that could lodge 800 to 1000 people, SinoOcean dropped the bid.

The vessel was launched in May 2016 and finished sea trials in September of the same year, but unfortunately BAO Provider abandoned the vessel due to the absence of charters.

SinoOcean was incorporated last year by the State Council’s Assets Supervision & Administration Commission to consolidate China’s offshore engineering industry and sell or charter rigs and vessels that were ordered by foreign owners but stranded in China following the downturn that hit the market between 2014 and 2016.