Shipbuilder BWB gets offshore wind farm boon

BWB-built boats.
BWB-built boats. Source: Jarek Jõepera

Saaremaa-based boatbuilder Baltic Workboats (BWB) has landed a substantial contract to provide vessels which would service off-shore wind farms, in a variety of countries.

ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Friday that BWB has a contract to construct up to 16 vessels, in cooperation with major Dutch shipbuilders Damen, while the vessels will be supplied to eight countries who operate offshore wind farms.

BWB CEO Margus Vanaselja said: "The contract is for five years, and for 12 to 16 ships. For us, this means stability at work. Stability is the biggest problem relating to our current business model. The estimated price of the contract can be up to €80 million."

The boats will not be built at BWB's Saaremaa shipyard, in the main.

"We ourselves do not have the capacity to make, say, four of these ships, each costing six million, and keep them in storage until the customer comes to buy them. But Damen has the financial capacity; they are €2.5 billion turnover company," Vanaselja went on.

"Demand is quite high, because there are wind farm maintenance ships needed, then the green transition is underway, which will mean many ships will be replaced by hybrid or battery-powered vessels, while there is talk of hydrogen boats too. Also the military orders are also starting to come in," he added.

The first full-scale vessel should be making its maiden voyages around four years from now, Vanaselja said.

The development points to the potential of a continued offshore wind farm-related boom for shipbuilders, the BWB director added.

BWB's past output has included two force protection vessels provided to the Estonian Navy and vessels for the Police and Border Guard Board.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Margus Muld.

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