The firm’s wind turbine transport vessel concept, dubbed Blue Azurit, recently secured an approval-in-principle (AIP) from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The endorsement marks an important milestone for the project, which launched in 2017.

ABS says the 178-metre long Blue Azurit design is energy efficient and will enable wind turbine manufacturers to transport full-length welded towers and other components directly from the supplier’s berth to their ultimate destination: an offshore construction site or installation vessel.

When ABS announced the AIP late last month the director of its global offshore division, Wei Huang, noted that the scale of offshore wind turbines continues to increase steadily, offering greater efficiencies to the market.

“We are working with Neptun to verify compliance with ABS rules, as it strives to deliver enhanced vessel capabilities supporting the wind industry’s continued growth, while increasing reliability and efficiency,” he added.

The managing director of Neptun, Gerald Hadaschik, applauded the Houston-based classification organisation’s extensive experience in the offshore energy sector, a market in which both Neptun and ABS have been increasingly active.

“Blue Azurit will help the offshore wind industry meet pressure to reduce costs, minimise project risks, deliver higher reliability and support renewable energy targets from new offshore wind nations,” Hadaschik continued.

The AIP from ABS follows a review of Neptun’s preliminary engineering plan. The endorsement implies that the conceptual engineering is feasible for the intended application and is, in principle, in compliance with the classification society’s Rules for Building and Classing Offshore Support Vessels.

ABS has extensive experience supporting innovation in the offshore wind segment, including classification of the world's largest and most advanced wind farm installation and offshore construction vessel: the Scylla, which was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea on behalf of Seajacks. Today, it’s also playing an active role in the development of concepts for a number of floating wind farm projects that are poised to take shape in the near future.

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