Equinor and BP have lined up Dutch contractor Heerema for foundation installation at their projects off New York, reprising in the offshore wind sector a long-standing relationship from the oil & gas industry and adding another key supplier to a fast-growing roster.
Heerema Marine Contractors was named “strategic supplier” covering foundation and substation installation for US East Coast projects jointly developed by the two energy giants, with an intention for the parties to sign a seven-year agreement that includes the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects that already have about 3.3GW under contract to deliver power.
Heerema will “collaborate as exclusive partners in the preparation and Jones Act compliant execution of the projects”, said a statement announcing the partnership, referring to the need to stick to strict US maritime legislation for offshore construction that is posing a headache for the first generation of American offshore wind farms as they battle to nail down access to vessel capacity that can do the work.
Danish shipping giant Maersk in March signed a deal over Jones Act-compliant turbine installation at Empire Wind's first phases, including the provision of US-flagged feeder barges and towing vessels to stay within the rules.
Heerema CEO Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven said: “The award of this unique agreement is yet another chapter in a long history of working together globally with both Equinor and BP on often challenging offshore installation projects.
“The future of offshore wind relies on strong forward-looking partnerships that recognise the need to secure transport and installation capacity.”
The Dutch group is a long-standing contractor for both Equinor and BP in offshore oil and gas, but also has a deal to install a substation at the 3.6GW Dogger Bank wind farm off the UK – co-developed by Equinor and the world’s largest under construction – plus work installing foundations at the Changhua project off Taiwan and turbines at Parkwind's Arcadis Ost in German waters.
Growing supplier roster
Heerema joins a growing list of suppliers to the JV, a 50-50 venture between the oil giants but led by Equinor in construction and operations.
As recently as last week the job of laying-in scour protection for Empire Wind’s foundations and export lines – an assignment that will see deployment of the country’s first-ever Jones Act-compliant rock-dumping vessel – was won by US-based Great Lakes Dredging and Dutch marine contactor Van Oord.
The Empire Wind JV has made a number of other high profile investments, including a $250m investment into the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to be used for staging and assembly, as well as an announced tie-up with Danish shipping giant Maersk for project EPCI, including the deployment of US-built barges to feed components to an innovative wind turbine installation vessel.
Heerema said it will “focus on optimising the economic benefits the projects can generate for the New York State communities” under the seven-year deal.
The first of Equinor and BP’s projects, Empire Wind 1, which obtained its offtake contract in 2018 from the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (Nyserda), is expected to be commissioned in December 2026.