UK player InfraStrata has secured a deal worth up to £720 million ($948 million) to build up to two wind farm development vessels for Triumph Subsea Services at the Northern Irish shipyard famous for building the fabled liner Titanic.

The letter of intent (LoI) initially covers the construction of one vessel, with Triumph having an option for an additional vessel.

The 200-metre-long vessel will be constructed, assembled and delivered by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of InfraStrata.

The vessels are expected to be worth up to £360 million apiece to Harland & Wolff during fabrication term — expected to be between 24 and 36 months — with additional revenues on offer if through-life support contracts are subsequently won.

Renewables projects

The vessels are planned to be used for fixed and floating wind farm installations and subsea cable laying, as well as to provide marine services for offshore carbon capture and green hydrogen projects.

They will be built with diesel-electric hybrid engines that will eventually transition into hydrogen fuel cells, offering what InfraStrata management considers to be the "greenest" solutions to wind farm developers.

Local content

In line with the UK government's target of having at least 40 gigawatts of installed wind capacity, once constructed, the vessels will also fulfil project developers' obligations to incorporate as much local content as possible within their projects in order to be eligible for and monetise the various government-led incentives, particularly in the wind farm and marine sectors.

The vessels are expected to be fabricated with local content from a UK supply chain and will be principally utilised for projects in all nations within the UK.

They will be crewed and operated by UK personnel, noted Triumph.

The next steps towards a binding contract will include analysis of the detailed design packages, agreement of timelines and milestones from fabrication to delivery and, finally, placing of the necessary financing structures by Triumph and its partners with Harland & Wolff.

'One of many potential projects'

The aim is to have a firm construction contract in place by the end of June 2021.

"This LoI is one of many potential projects that we are working on and is in line with our strategy to make the Harland & Wolff group a leading shipbuilder and fabrication company in the UK,” said InfraStrata chief executive John Wood.

“As previously indicated, fabrication will become a huge element of our business moving forward and, by utilising both our Belfast and Appledore capacities symbiotically, we are able to provide an attractive works schedule to our clients."

Croatia deal

Triumph earlier this week signed a contract with Croatian Brodosplit to construct a field development vessel, with the option for three more units.

The initial vessel, named FDV Chronos, is expected to see first steel cut in March or April next year, with delivery due in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“FDV Chronos and her sister ships are the most advanced net-zero compliant and future-proofed multi-purpose offshore construction vessels currently available within the market,” claimed Triumph.

Triumph’s commitment and goal was to have developed, built and to be operating a truly net-zero carbon emissions vessel fleet by 2035 or sooner.