Italian contracting giant Prysmain aims to sail out a new cable-laying supership into the offshore wind market early in 2025 for first assignments with Dominion Energy off the US and then project and interconnector jobs in Europe, with plans announced today of a sister vessel to the Leonardo Da Vinci flagaship that was launched last year.

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The €240m vessel ($247m), like its fleet-mate built with 170 metre-long hull and outfitted with a technology spread that includes two carousels able to together hold 17,000 tonnes of cable, and a laying-line with a capstan suitable for installation in waters deeper than 3,000 metres, key for long disrance power trunklines and future floating projects.

Prysmian's first contract for the vessel is on the giant 2.6GW Coastal Virgian Offshore Wind project being built in the US Atlantic by state utility Dominion Energy, with booked work head forthe first power cable connecting the UK and German – the Neuconnect Energy Link, as well as on the latter country’s Dolwin4 and Borwin4 offshore wind projects.

“The development of more efficient and sustainable power grids infrastructure is key to enable the energy transition, and submarine cables are an essential component. As global leader we are fully committed to technology innovation and we are happy to partner with Fincantieri and Vard to improve also our installation capabilities” stated Valerio Battista, CEO of Prysmian.

To be designed by Fincantieri-owned Vard Design in Ålesund, Norway, and built at the Vard Tulcea yard in Romania, the vessel will be equipped with state-of-the-art dynamic positioning and seakeeping systems, and feature a maximum transit speed at sea of more than 16 knots.

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “The complexity of such a ship [and] the highly demanding context in which the vessel will operate, both in terms of environment and hi-tech requirements, will enhance the sophisticated latest generation onboard systems.”

Prysmian highlighted that the new vessel’s engines were engineered to cut NOX emissions by 85%, while the high on-deck cable-load and travel speed would reduce the number of trips need to complete an installation campaign compared to smaller vessels, together “enabling an overall decrease in CO2 emissions and a reduction in fuel consumption of 40%”. The vessel will also be kitted out with a 3MW back-up battery.

Hakan Ozmen, EVP for Prysmian’s project business unit, said:“The new vessel will be definitely a game-changer in strengthening our installation capabilities and supporting our leadership position in the interconnection and offshore wind farm markets, while ensuring on-time delivery and execution.”

With the as-yet-unnamed vessel, Prysmian’s cable-laying fleet grows to five: the veteran Giulio Verne, Cable Enterprise, Ulisse, and Barbarossa vessels, and the Leonardo da Vinci, currently the most advanced cable-layer in the water.