Baltic Workboats (BWB) and Damen Shipyards have signed a partnership agreement for a program of building Damen’s popular crew transfer vessel, the Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 2710, at BWB’s facility on Saaremaa Island in Estonia. With the Baltic Sea joining the North Sea as an area of rapid expansion for the offshore wind industry, building these highly rated CTVs in the region increases availability to both the Baltic region and other European markets. It also brings Damen closer to its customers in North-Eastern Europe.
The offshore wind industry is growing quickly as nations move to increase their energy security as well as reduce their dependency on fossil fuels. Damen is seeing a significant increase in offshore wind developments, not only in established waters such as the North Sea, but also in new areas including the Baltic Sea. In order to facilitate and contribute to the acceleration of the energy transition, Damen Shipyards and Baltic Workboats have signed a strategic partnership to construct a significant number of Damen’s FCS 2710.
The FCS 2710 is a versatile vessel and those built by BWB will undertake a range of duties in the North and Baltic seas. These will include deploying and retrieving technicians and their equipment during the construction and commissioning phases of the wind turbine installations, and then transporting the maintenance crews that keep them operational throughout their lifetimes.
A range of propulsion configuration options and preparations for alternative fuels will be available to meet the requirements of regulators and customers. Damen’s Twin-Axe hull form ensures excellent seakeeping capabilities and fuel economy as well as providing extensive deck space and accommodation. Damen’s policy of continuous design improvement means that they will feature the latest design adjustments such as an improved wheelhouse window arrangement and an upgraded bridge console layout.
Baltic Workboats has long experience in building aluminum fast workboats for patrol and pilot duties as well as ferries and tugs. Series construction of the fast crew suppliers using components and materials supplied by Damen suits their well-proven shipbuilding capabilities.
“Baltic Workboats is an ideal partner for us with their strategic location and proven track record of delivering high quality vessels,” commented Jan-Wim Dekker, Chief Commercial Officer at Damen Shipyards. “Our partnership with them gives us extra construction capacity to meet the growing demand for proven crew transfer vessels in northern Europe. Working together will bring us closer to this fast-developing region as well as enabling us to meet the demand for high quality vessels that we are seeing from our customers. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Margus Vanaselja, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Baltic Workboats, added: “We are very pleased to be working alongside Damen Shipyards. We believe that combining Baltic Workboats’ extensive experience of building fast aluminum vessels with specific technical solutions, and Damen’s CTV market experience, will allow us to offer the best platform to service the windfarms in the Nordic areas. We also bring particular expertise in ice-strengthened hulls and propulsion systems, deck and rail heating systems and specific engine cooling solutions for Nordic conditions. Supporting local marine services operators, as they seek the vessels they need to contribute to the energy transition, is also a source of pride and satisfaction for us.”
The production of the first batch of vessels is already underway. The aluminum for the first hulls was cut on the 9th of May and the first vessel is expected to be ready for delivery in the summer of 2024. Over the next five years, more than ten FCS 2710s will be built using serial production techniques adopted from the automotive sector and adapted for the shipbuilding sector.