CWind launches world’s first hybrid surface effect ship

UK-based CWind has announced the launch of the world’s first surface effect ship (SES), the CWind Pioneer.

According to CWind, part of the Global Marine Group, the vessel was developed in response to an industry-wide push to develop and deploy innovative technologies that reduce CO2 emissions, while cost-effectively servicing windfarms located further offshore.

The CWind Pioneer features a hybrid diesel and battery electric power system which enables the vessel to operate purely on battery power while in harbour or at standby in the windfarm – resulting in a decrease in fuel burn and CO2.

At a speed of 43.5 knots (kts), Cwind claims the SES vessel is over 20% more fuel efficient than conventional CTVs running at 24kts on a mile for mile basis. For a typical windfarm situated 30 nm from port, this translates to a reduction of over 110 tonnes of CO2 per vessel, per year, by using the hybrid SES.

This figure excludes the savings of the hybrid system, which will allow the vessel to be zero emission ship infield while technicians are carrying out their work on the turbines. CWind says specific figures ‘will be shared once these savings are proven’, but initial desk top studies suggest a 30%-50% saving over conventional vessels.

Commenting, Nathanael Allison, Managing Director, CWind, said the launch of the CWind Pioneer marks a significant milestone for the industry and helps pave the way towards achieving net zero targets.

‘The vessel utilises revolutionary technology to meet the needs of the market and our customers who want a greener, safer, and more efficient Crew Transfer Vessel to support their commercial and green objectives,’ said Allison. ‘With the CWind Pioneer we have delivered just that – a new generation of CTVs.’

The CWind Pioneer will be used at the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms through a long-term charter contract agreement with Ørsted. As previously reported, in December 2020, Ørsted completed the divestment of its LNG business to Glencore as part of a shift in focus to renewable energy.

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry

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