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Offshore wind: Periods of 2018 will see all Seacat vessels under charter

Offshore wind: Periods of 2018 will see all Seacat vessels under charter
sle of Wight, U.K. based offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, reports that periods of 2018 will see all of its 14 vessels under charter, with some contracts extending until 2020.

Seacat says this reflects the growth of the offshore wind sector and the resulting increase in demand for support vessels.

Contract partners include leading players in the field, such as Ørsted and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and cover major projects such as Suffolk's Greater Gabbard and Galloper wind farms, and Scotland's largest offshore wind farm, Beatrice, in the Outer Moray Firth.

Seacat sees a long-expected period of stability arriving for the OESV sector. This comes following a time of growth but also one of volatility, as operators have sought to prepare for upcoming projects by investing in new build programs, while aiming to maintain fleet occupancy and sustainable charter rates during periodic lulls in new offshore wind construction.

Recently, and with the expansion of the offshore wind sector, an ambitious number of projects – having achieved permissions and financing – have begun installation, creating a steady pipeline of construction-based and O&M work for the OESV and wider vessel support markets.

This increase in work coincides with a slowdown in the number of new vessels entering the market, as operators come to the end of their immediate build programs. The resulting shift in the supply-demand balance is likely to see offshore wind developers become increasingly reliant on strong relationships with OESV operators to ensure ongoing high-quality vessel support for projects.

Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services, said: "To reach maximum occupancy remains a rare achievement in this market, and this period of stability for Seacat Services is testament to the strength of the relationships we have maintained with key offshore wind players over the past few years."

"More broadly, as occupancy increases across the OESV market and the supply-demand balance starts to shift in favor of vessel operators, the value of strong relationships between operators and offshore wind project owners is likely to become increasingly apparent. Good working relationships and a sustainable long-term approach to vessel chartering will be crucial for keeping projects on track during the busiest period of offshore wind activity to date."

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