Aker Solutions, DeepOcean, and Solstad Offshore create Windstaller Alliance
International offshore energy suppliers Aker Solutions, DeepOcean Norway, and Solstad Offshore have joined forces to create Windstaller Alliance. The new partnership aims to provide the world’s most cost-efficient and complete product supply, fabrication and marine services offering within offshore wind. The alliance will also pursue other offshore renewables segments.
Windstaller Alliance will combine the already well-established capabilities and expertise of the three offshore industry leaders. This will form an integrated and highly flexible one-stop-shop provider. The alliance will be able to offer product deliveries, fabrication services as well as marine and subsea operations and associated engineering services within offshore renewables industries. “Today’s supply chain for the offshore renewables market is highly fragmented and, in our view, sub-optimal in terms of efficiency, cost, risk and environmental footprint.
Windstaller Alliance is able to take an integrated approach where appropriate, while unlocking value for both operators and suppliers, at the same time reducing the total carbon footprint of offshore renewable projects”, says Guro Høyaas Løken, Head of the Windstaller Alliance. The Windstaller Alliance will market the three companies’ offering, identify and pursue business opportunities where they cost-efficiently can combine their technologies, capabilities, experience and resources to deliver an unrivalled service to the offshore renewables sector. It aims to cut the amount of supplier interfaces, thereby reducing technical and commercial project risk as well as execution time through better integration of services, project management and maritime asset utilisation.
Windstaller Alliance has access to a substantial product, fabrication and marine services portfolio with related engineering and project management capabilities through Aker Solutions and DeepOcean. Aker Solutions also has more than 15,000 employees and world class expertise within complex fabrication of substructures for wind turbines, including four state-of-the-art yards and a broad product offering within subsea and topside equipment. Ocean service provider DeepOcean adds extensive experience from offshore renewables, including dedicated assets for the renewables markets, including trenchers and cable repair spreads. The company provides the alliance with specialised subsea installation and service solutions for offshore renewables through 900 employees, and more than 50 ROVs. Solstad Offshore, which has supported offshore wind farm installations, operations and maintenance since 2009, contributes through a global presence with more than 3,600 employees and a fleet of 90 vessels available to the alliance. “In terms of competence, size and asset base, Windstaller Alliance’s offering is probably unrivalled in the marketplace. However, it is how we will integrate and join the three companies’ offerings that will create the real value for both operators and us suppliers”, says Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore.
The alliance members will cooperate to jointly identify market opportunities and agree on a case-by-case basis which prospects and solutions to pursue. The exact execution scope and cooperation model on a specific project will be set up based on client preferences and market conditions. In the preparatory phase for marine operations of offshore renewables projects, Windstaller Alliance will deliver engineering services as well as subsea survey, inspection and site preparation services. The alliance may also provide product deliveries such as subsea technologies plus fabrication of substructures carrying wind turbines, plus yard services such as logistics, site management and crane operations. The alliance will furthermore provide services to optimise product designs from a marine operations perspective. In the installation phase, Windstaller Alliance has the specialist competence to provide trenching and inter-array cable lay services, and to conduct towing, mooring, hook-up and commissioning operations. During the operations phase of an offshore renewables field, the alliance will offer life of field IMR (inspection, maintenance and repair) services, CSOVs and maintenance, modification and operations support for offshore structures. “Windstaller Alliance can also offer project management capabilities. We believe we have an ideal set-up to tear down existing efficiency silos, reduce project risk and client cost. However, we will of course also provide a fully flexible delivery and contracting model tailored to clients’ needs. The difference is that they can obtain life-of-field support in one place”, voices Øyvind Mikaelsen, CEO of DeepOcean.
Windstaller has also outlined a commitment to reach a zero emissions target. Supporting this goal, Aker Solutions, DeepOcean and Solstad Offshore have all announced targets to cut emissions by 45-50% by 2030. A third of DeepOcean’s fleet is aimed to be on hybrid power by 2022, and the company considers a pilot upgrade to hydrogen fuel cells. Solstad Offshore’s fleet currently has fifteen vessels on battery or shore power, and the company expects to upgrade 30% of its 90-strong vessel fleet to hybrid solutions by 2025. Aker Solutions, meanwhile, aims to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. “Aker Solutions is one of few contractors able to offer complete product solutions for offshore wind farms, including substructures and topsides for offshore wind power platforms, subsea solutions and offshore installation. Together with the alliance partners, we are dedicated to supporting the offshore renewables industry. Through the use of modern, low-emission vessels and a range of services specially designed for the renewables market, our biggest contribution to the industry will be to do things in a safer, smarter and more sustainable way”, states Stephen Bull, Executive Vice President of Renewables at Aker Solutions.
Windstaller Alliance will be a non-incorporated, asset light alliance, with no joint ownership or liabilities for vessels or other assets, except for specifically agreed projects.