Bibby Marine Announces Contract To Build World’s First Zero-Emission Offshore Windfarm Maintenance Vessel

Bibby Marine Limited  //  30th April 2024

Liverpool-based Bibby Marine, part of Bibby Line Group, has today (Monday, 29 April) announced they have entered into a shipbuilding contract to build the world’s first truly zero-emission electric Commissioning Service Operation Vessel (eCSOV).

After a thorough tendering process involving a variety of yards in the UK and overseas, Gondan Shipbuilders was selected by Bibby Marine, with an offer that stood out in terms of timeline, budget and quality. Their proven track record in building bespoke, specialist vessels was also a strong factor in selecting Gondan to build this innovative vessel.  

The new eCSOV, which has been designed in collaboration with UK-based ship designers Longitude, will feature a powerful battery system, complemented by dual-fuel methanol engines for emissions-free operations.  It will be the first vessel to operate solely on battery power for over 16-hours between charging cycles, allowing workers to operate a full shift between charges. The vessel will also be capable of drawing energy directly from turbines.

Bibby Marine CEO, Nigel Quinn, Bibby Marine said: “This is an exciting next step for our project, and we are delighted to have found a partner in Gondan Shipbuilders, who will bring our clean vision to life.  

“Gondan’s 100 year-experience of building ships and more recent experience of building ships to suit a low / no carbon future, aligns closely with our own history and vision, which meant it stood out as a yard to help us deliver our eCSOV.” 

He added: “As a UK owned company, we are pleased this vessel will be the first UK designed CSOV and a UK flagged vessel. We will continue to work alongside our established supply chain and local academia, to ensure UK shipyards are engaged, and have the opportunity to learn, throughout the process. We want this project to support the ambition to turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology.

“The delivery of this vessel has the potential to be a game changer for our industry by accelerating our path to net-zero, as well as showcasing marine innovation at its finest.  This project will demonstrate that clean ships can be built at the same total cost of ownership as a conventional fossil burning vessel, coupled with significantly reduced operating costs.

The investment is the first new vessel commissioned by Bibby since WaveMaster Horizon SOV was launched in 2019 and is an example of the renewed ambition and capability of the group to invest for future growth and play a leading part in the global energy transition.

Bibby Line Group CEO, Jonathan Lewis said: “As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on being able to take a long-term perspective.   


“Following our group restructure in 2020, significant investment in our more focused portfolio of core businesses is resulting in improved group performance and allowing us to invest for future growth – putting Bibby very much back on the front foot in our respective sectors.  


He added “I am delighted that we are investing into world-leading green technology within the marine sector, in which we have operated throughout our 200+ year history.  This investment has been made possible by the dedicated and skilled people who are part of Bibby Marine and the broader Bibby Line Group. 


Daniel Scavuzzo, Sales Director of Gondan Shipbuilders stated: “We are excited to begin this journey with Bibby Marine, who are at the forefront of offshore wind and committed to decarbonizing the maritime sector. This project fits seamlessly with our expertise in zero-emission technologies.”  

This project is part of the Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) scheme, funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by Innovate UK. ZEVI is part of the Department’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, a £206m initiative focused on developing the technology necessary to decarbonise the UK domestic maritime sector.


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