E.ON secures state of the art offshore wind power vessel from MPI

E.ON Climate & Renewables and MPI-Vroon have signed a 6 year charter for the MPI Discovery, a specialist vessel used in the construction of offshore wind farms. Securing this state of the art new build vessel underlines E.ON’s long term commitment to development of offshore wind projects in Europe and will help maintain E.ON’s leading position in the offshore industry.

The MPI Discovery has six jack-up legs, which lift the whole vessel out of the water to provide a stable platform from which foundations and wind turbines can be efficiently and safely installed. The MPI Discovery can work in far harsher weather conditions than previous vessels used by the offshore wind industry and this means that the time and cost of building offshore wind farms can be dramatically reduced.

Michael Lewis, Managing Director Europe at E.ON Climate & Renewables said: “I am delighted with the agreement that we have signed with MPI today. Reducing the costs of offshore wind power is a key priority for E.ON, and chartering a high quality purpose built vessel on a long term basis is a key part of our strategy. We believe the MPI Discovery is the best vessel on the market today and it will play a key role in enabling us to construct our offshore projects both faster and more cost effectively”.

Paul Gibson, Chairman of MPI said, “This charter cements the commitment of two companies, E.ON and MPI-Vroon, to the offshore wind industry and the renewable energy sector.“Our joint goal is to reduce the cost of offshore wind delivery and to deliver successful offshore wind projects now and continuing into the future.”

The vessel can operate in waters 40 meters deep, its main crane can lift 1,000 tonnes and it also has 50-tonne-capacity auxiliary crane. 112 people can work on board and the vessel has its own coffee shop, gym and sauna to ensure that the crew can perform effectively even in the challenging and sometimes harsh offshore environment.

E.ON has a 4,000 MW offshore wind power pipeline and already operates 5 offshore wind farm plants with almost 500 MW of installed wind turbines capacity. Together with partners E.ON is constructing the London Array using another MPI vessel, the Adventure. The London Array will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when fully complete. In 2010 40 percent of all offshore wind turbines in Europe were installed by E.ON.