Published on 26th July 2023
A wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) is primarily built for offshore wind farm turbine installation but is also deployable for other offshore activities.
As the wind farms increase in size and move further out to sea, WTIVs are getting larger and fully digitized with features like advanced dynamic positioning to ensure vessel stability in demanding conditions.
A WTIV can be either jack-up or floating, with the jack-up installation vessel equipped with legs to remain stable by lifting itself above sea level.
The growing demand for renewable energy, offshore wind farm expansion, limited onshore space, and other factors have increased offshore wind park development in recent years—necessitating the deployment of new, larger, and specialized WTIVs.
Keep reading to learn more about the prominent offshore WTIV companies.
Table of Contents
Global Top 10 Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) Companies
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier
Jan De Nul Group
Heerema Marine Contractors
Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.
Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors B.V.
Blackridge Research & Consulting – Global Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Market Report
Here are the world’s leading offshore wind turbine installation vessel companies (ranking is based on fleet size):
Location: Zwijndrecht, Belgium
DEME (Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering NV) is an international group of specialized companies with expertise in the fields of dredging and marine infrastructure, environmental remediation, and offshore energy.
DEME also engages in the following concessions activities:
DEME is the proud owner of over 100 specialist vessels focused on dredging, offshore, environmental, and infra technologies.
DEME’s comprehensive fleet includes:
DEME has deployed its high-tech, versatile offshore installation vessels on the most complex offshore energy projects at different locations, such as the following:
Dutch area of the North Sea
Dutch sector of the North Sea
German area of the North Sea
Albatros offshore wind farm
German area of the North Sea
UK area of the North Sea
Merkur offshore wind farm
German area of the North Sea
Rentel offshore wind farm
Belgian area of the North Sea
Dutch area of the North Sea
German area of the North Sea
Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm
UK area of the North Sea
DEME’s expertise, knowledge, and technologically advanced fleet of vessels supported by a variety of auxiliary equipment enable it to provide cost-effective, safe, and tailor-made solutions to its customers.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Established as “Blue Ocean Ships A/S,” Cadeler is a trusted name in constructing, maintaining, and decommissioning offshore wind farms.
As a key supplier for the offshore wind industry, Cadeler has an excellent track record of delivering several commercial-scale offshore wind projects across Northern Europe using its high-end WIVs (Windfarm Installation Vessels)—Wind Orca and Wind Osprey.
Wind Osprey and Wind Orca (Cadeler O-class Vessels)
Cadeler’s O-class vessels, including Wind Osprey and Wind Orca, are highly adaptable for the installation, maintenance, and decommissioning of windfarm projects.
With advanced specifications and high-quality equipment, the O-class vessels are designed to operate even on sites with the most challenging seabed conditions.
Additionally, these vessels offer a large cargo area and high-capacity deck loading to accommodate all types and sizes of turbines and foundations.
Besides providing efficient wind turbine installations, Wind Osprey and Wind Orca offer highly functional facilities for onboard crews.
Cadeler X-class Vessels
Cadeler’s new purpose-built X-class vessels are expected to be ready by the second half of 2024 and the first half of 2025. The two X-class vessels are designed to work at some of the most challenging sites with increased transit capacity and lower total cost of installing offshore wind farms.
In addition, the cyber-secure vessels will be able to accelerate installation speed and minimize the carbon footprint.
Cadeler F-class Vessels
Cadeler’s new F-class foundation installation vessels are expected to be ready by the second half of 2026. Once in operation, the F-class vessels can transport and install six sets of 2XL monopile foundations per load—improving the operational efficiency substantially.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Founded by Petter Olsen, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier began as a family shipping business that has grown into an offshore wind pioneer with 175 years of offshore and marine experience and 800+ turbines installed in every possible configuration.
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier is an industry-leading provider of cost-effective and efficient transport, installation, and service solutions across every stage of the full wind farm lifecycle—from a custom-fit selection of services to full-service solutions.
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s versatile offshore installation vessels include:
Bold Tern: Bold Tern can install foundations up to 1500 t and handle all known next-generation turbines with a unique Huisman 1600 t LEC 65500 leg-encircling crane.
The environmentally friendly crane is fully electrically driven—resulting in higher reliability and reduced maintenance.
Brave Tern: Brave Tern is a self-elevating and self-propelled jack-up offshore wind turbine installation vessel stated to “transport, lift, and install any turbine on the market today.”
It also has helidecks for easy transfers during offshore wind turbine operations. Brave Tern is designed to meet the highest possible operation and safety standards and is continuously upgraded to maximize efficiency.
Blue Tern: Previously known as “Seafox 5,” Blue Tern is a multi-purpose, self-propelled DP2 jack-up offshore wind turbine construction vessel featuring a 1,200-tonne main crane and a 7,000-tonne variable deck load carrying capacity.
In addition, Blue Tern can operate throughout the year in the most challenging offshore conditions and water depths of up to 65 meters.
Shimizu newbuild: In 2021, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier announced a partnership with Shimizu Corporation (Shimizu) to support offshore wind project installations within and outside Japan.
Shimizu’s jack-up vessel can load, transport, and install seven 8 MW wind turbines at a time.
Location: Aalst, Belgium
Jan De Nul Group (Jan De Nul) is a Belgian family-owned company specializing in the construction and maintenance of maritime infrastructure.
With expertise in marine and dredging works, as well as civil engineering, environmental, and brownfield development projects, Jan De Nul is considered a tier-one marine contractor offering overall solutions that shape both water and land.
Jan De Nul’s offshore jack-up installation vessels allow the safe and stable installation of heavy foundations and offshore wind farm components without being impacted by the waves.
Jan De Nul ensures an ideal mix for realizing any project with its modern, versatile fleet listed below:
With its operational and technical expertise, Jan De Nul is ready to meet the upcoming challenges in offshore renewables with the following next-gen installation vessels, which have an extremely low carbon footprint:
According to Jan De Nul, Voltaire is “the world’s tallest and highly advanced jack-up installation vessel” with exceptional lifting capacity. Voltaire is also reported to be “the first seaworthy Ultra-Low Emission installation vessel.”
Voltaire is the second and largest jack-up vessel in Jan De Nul’s fleet. Voltaire is built to transport, lift, and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces, and foundations.
With the main crane having a capacity of over 3,000 tonnes, Voltaire is also available to the O&G industry for the decommissioning of offshore structures.
Voltaire’s success was demonstrated with her very first assignment—constructing the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm phases A, B, and C by transporting and installing 277 GE Haliade-X turbines up to 14 MW.
The Dogger Bank offshore wind farm is reported to be “the world’s largest offshore wind farm” generating enough energy to meet around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs.
Location: Leiden, Netherlands
Founded by Pieter Schelte Heerema, Constructora Heerema was originally formed in 1948 as a small construction company that went on to develop crane vessels to lift large offshore platforms and modules.
Heerema Marine Contractors (also known as “Heerema” and “HMC”) was founded in 1997.
Since its first offshore platform was installed, Heerema has delivered safe, cost-effective, and sustainable transport and installation (T&I) solutions for diverse offshore facilities.
Heerema examines all aspects of projects in its onshore Simulation Center to bring fully engineered and risk-assessed solutions to the field. With experience in installing the heaviest and the lightest platforms worldwide, Heerema offers flexible and versatile solutions for safe and reliable project delivery.
Heerema’s fleet includes:
Sleipnir (Semi-Submersible Crane Vessel): Sleipnir is Heerema’s “largest semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV)” equipped with a pair of revolving cranes with a 20,000-metric ton lifting capability and the capacity to run on LNG for sustainable operations.
Thialf (Semi-Submersible Crane Vessel): Thialf is Heerema’s second-largest SSCV credited with record-setting lifting capabilities. Thialf is equipped with a class III dynamic positioning system and is a multi-talented machine capable of diverse offshore activities—from deepwater installation to 14,200 metric ton topside installations.
Balder (Deepwater Construction Vessel): Balder was the first of the two SSCVs ordered by Heerema. Converted from an SSCV into a DCV (Deepwater Construction Vessel), Balder has unique capabilities to work at varying water depths—supporting the installation and decommissioning of over 100 projects across the world.
Aegir (Heavy Lift Vessel): Known as “one of the world’s largest monohull crane vessels,” Aegir is optimized for fast transit speed and can work in any water depth.
Bylgia and Kolga (Anchor Handling Tugs): Bylgia and Kolga are suitable for long-distance towing, anchoring, and mooring and capable of withstanding rough sea conditions.
Barges (Support Equipment): Heerema’s support equipment consists of a range of barges for floatover, jacket launch, and transportation purposes.
The Heerema companies are engaged at all stages of offshore energy projects—from early-stage conception and fabrication to installation and removal.
Location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Founded as “Mizuno Gumi” in 1896, Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd. (Goyō Kensetsu Kabushiki-gaisha in Japanese) is a world-renowned Japanese construction firm specializing in marine works and land reclamation.
Also known as “Penta-Ocean” and “POC,” Penta-Ocean Construction’s vessels include:
POC Offshore Installation Vessels
Penta-Ocean is credited with completing the construction of “CP-8001” in 2018—the first Japanese multi-purpose SEP (Self-elevating Platform) equipped with a fully revolving crane.
CP-8001 was designed to achieve high accuracy and high utilization rate in offshore civil engineering and construction of offshore wind power generation facilities.
A news update reported the launch of “CP-16001” in 2021—the new offshore installation vessel equipped with a 1,600-ton lifting crane to accommodate larger offshore wind turbines and their foundation structures.
CP-16001 is owned and operated by PKY Marine Corporation—a joint venture of Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd., Kajima Corporation, and Yorigami Maritime Construction Co., Ltd.
According to another industry news source, DEME Offshore and Penta-Ocean established a joint venture named “Japan Offshore Marine Co., Ltd. (JOM)” in 2021 for the long-term development of the Japanese offshore wind industry and energy transition.
As part of this joint venture, Sea Challenger—an offshore installation vessel featuring an upgraded 1,600-tonne crane—was unveiled in 2022 to handle the largest turbines for offshore wind farm projects in Japan. As Penta-Ocean’s third turbine installation vessel, Sea Challenger would enable Penta-Ocean to increase its competitiveness in the Japanese market.
Formerly known as “Scorpio Bulkers, Inc.,” Eneti, Inc. is a wind turbine installation leader with a rich history of transformation—from a leading dry bulk commodity shipping operator into a fully committed wind turbine installation company.
Eneti’s energy-efficient, high-capacity fleet is capable of operating in the harshest of offshore conditions.
Eneti’s industry-leading fleet comprises the following:
Nessie: Nessie is a self-propelled jack-up vessel with a 2,600-t main crane that aids in installing and maintaining heavy foundations and offshore wind turbine components safely.
Siren: Siren is a self-propelled jack-up vessel equipped with DP2 capability for fast, safe, and cost-efficient transit and positioning between locations—thereby supporting operations, as well as facilitating efficient installation and maintenance of offshore wind farms.
Seajacks Scylla: Specifically designed for deep water and large wind farm components, Seajacks Scylla is described as Eneti’s “most advanced offshore wind farm installation vessel with the largest deck space, leg length, and lifting capacity.”
Seajacks Zaratan: Seajacks Zaratan supports the wind farm installation market and also provides services to the O&G industry in the harsh operating environment of the Southern North Sea.
Seajacks Hydra: Seajacks Hydra is a modified version of Gusto MSC’s NG-2500X design and is fully adaptable for working in both O&G and offshore wind industries.
Seajacks Leviathan: With a flexible deck space, Seajacks Leviathan is ideal for offshore wind and O&G environments. This self-propelled jack-up vessel works in accordance with the standard procedures required to operate in the North Sea hydrocarbon industry.
Seajacks Kraken: Seajacks Kraken is Seajacks’ first vessel specially designed to operate in demanding environments like the North Sea. This vessel has an extensive track record supporting O&G operations in the Southern North Sea and offshore Canada.
With an extensive history of installing over 500 turbines, Eneti is well positioned to accelerate the growth of marine-based renewable energy.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Founded as a carpentry business by Kisuke Shimizu, Shimizu Corporation (Shimizu) is a globally recognized provider of construction, architecture, and engineering services.
According to Shimizu, “the Shimizu Group consists of Shimizu Corporation, 117 subsidiaries, and 11 affiliates (as of March 31, 2022).”
The Shimizu Group is also engaged in various businesses in Japan and overseas, including construction, engineering, and investment and development.
Furthermore, Shimizu is collaborating with industry leaders to strengthen its position in the renewable energy sector.
An industry news source reported the delivery of a mega jack-up named “BLUE WIND” to Shimizu Corporation from the Japan Marine United (JMU) shipyard.
BLUE WIND is claimed to be “the world’s largest self-propelled SEP vessel” with exceptional transporting and crane capacities and capable of installing ultra-large-scale offshore wind turbines.
BLUE WIND is said to be equipped with “the world’s first fully integrated offshore telescopic leg-encircling crane” and GustoMSC variable speed rack and pinion jacking system—ensuring performance, reliability, and stability even in the harshest offshore conditions.
The 50 m wide and 142 m long vessel with a gross tonnage of 28,000 is capable of operating in depths of 10-50 m, as well as loading, transporting, and installing seven 8 MW or three 12 MW wind turbines at a time.
Here are the key features of Shimizu’s “BLUE WIND”:
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors B.V. (Van Oord) is a Dutch family-owned company with 150+ years of experience as an international marine contractor specializing in dredging, O&G infrastructure, and offshore wind.
Van Oord’s state-of-the-art equipment and vessels include:
Aeolus – Offshore installation vessel
Aeolus is an advanced offshore installation vessel purpose-built to construct offshore wind parks and put into service in 2014.
Aeolus’ top-range crane can lift 1,600+ tonnes—making it suitable for transporting and installing foundations and wind turbines.
For example, Aeolus installed all foundations and turbines for the Norther project—an offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea.
In addition, Aeolus has four giant legs (each measuring 85 meters and weighing 1,280 tonnes), which allow Aeolus to be jacked up and work in waters up to 45 meters deep.
As a sustainable EPC and marine contractor, Van Oord continues to lead the way in the energy transition toward renewable energy by constructing several offshore wind projects—providing all-around solutions, often as turnkey projects, including engineering, procurement, and construction.
Apart from focusing on the Balance of Plant contracts (all auxiliary systems and supporting components other than the wind turbines) and T&I projects, Van Oord offers other services like inter-array cable installation and scour protection.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Seaway7 is an offshore wind subsidiary of the Subsea7 Group (the offshore installation giant) and a global leader in delivering bottom-fixed offshore wind farm solutions.
Since 2009, Seaway7 has been active in the offshore renewable energy industry—installing its first WTG monopile foundation offshore in the UK, as well as WTG foundations, substations, and inner array cables for major offshore wind developers in Europe, Taiwan, and the U.S.
Seaway7 provides fully integrated T&I services for offshore wind turbine generators (WTGs) across the globe. As a leading offshore wind sector contractor, Seaway7 has invested heavily in next-generation installation vessels with a dedicated operational and commercial base for WTG installation in Vejle, Denmark.
Seaway7 owns and operates a state-of-the-art fleet, including:
Seaway Ventus (Turbine Generator Installation)
As one of the “world’s largest self-propelled jack-up installation vessels,” Seaway Ventus is designed to install future generations of offshore wind turbines and XL monopile foundations.
The GustoMSC NG-14000XL-G design vessel is equipped with VSD (Variable Speed Drive)-driven jacking systems and well-balanced DP2 capability—providing a controlled ramp-up/ramp-down, as well as speed and torque control for frequent, fast, and secure jacking operations.
Furthermore, Seaway Ventus is capable of installing wind turbine components in water depths of 65 m and to a height of up to 182 m above the sea, leveraging a telescopic leg-encircling crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 1,600 t (extended mode) and 2,500 t (retracted mode).
As a class-leading vessel, Seaway Ventus can also reduce CO2 emissions by 20% compared to similar units.
Apart from the key players listed above, other significant companies include Dominion Energy, Inc. (Dominion), Havfram AS, Maersk (A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S), and OIM Wind Ltd.
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The report provides a comprehensive regional market analysis, including the current market scenario, market drivers, market outlook, government policies and regulations, and more for countries covered under the following regions:
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Offshore wind energy is a vital component of the green energy transition—limiting the impact of global climate change while supplying substantial amounts of clean energy to meet the diverse needs of countries worldwide.
For example, the United States has set an ambitious target of realizing 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2030.
Let us look at some notable offshore wind industry developments in the U.S.:
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy: According to a company press release, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (a leader in the renewable energy industry) plans to establish an offshore wind turbine nacelle facility in New York—thereby creating direct jobs and a sustainable local supply chain ecosystem.
Block Island Wind Farm: Known as “the first commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S.,” Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) is located off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.
ECO Edison: As part of servicing and maintaining offshore wind turbines, OSV companies like Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) are providing specialized vessels like ECO Edison, which has been chartered by Ørsted and Eversource for their Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind, and Sunrise Wind projects.
Revolution Wind is a 704 MW offshore wind farm that will provide affordable, clean power to Connecticut and Rhode Island.
On the other hand, South Fork Wind is a 132 MW offshore wind farm that is stated to provide renewable energy to Long Island and also produce “enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes.”
Sunrise Wind is one of the largest U.S. offshore wind farms expected to be operational in 2025 and power nearly 600,000 New York homes.
Vineyard Wind: A company press release stated that Vineyard Wind received the first shipment of turbine components at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal—the arrival marked a milestone moment in the U.S. offshore wind industry.
The offshore wind market is poised to witness rapid growth in the coming years with a corresponding rise in demand for offshore wind turbine installation vessels.
Wind turbine installation vessel companies specialize in manufacturing highly automated, strong, and well-connected WTIVs essential for installing a wide range of offshore wind turbines and ensuring clean energy for people across the world.