Engineering consultants and ship designers Longitude Engineering has been selected as the designer for a zero-emission electric Service Operation Vessel (eSOV) being developed by a British-based consortium led by shipowner and operator Bibby Line.
The project, which was first announced during London International Shipping Week in September 2023, is developing a vessel to operate in the UK and European offshore renewables market. Incorporating batteries and dual fuel methanol engines, the eSOV project also encompasses complementary shore charging facilities. Longitude Engineering will develop the vessel concept to Approval in Principle (AiP) level for verification of the energy storage system and methanol system philosophy. It will also be responsible for design development and provide support for shipyard pricing.
The eSOV will be based on Longitude Engineering’s OSD-IMT9605 design, which the company launched in 2020. Originally developed for the US offshore market, the 59.20 m long OSD-IMT9605 design in its current form includes an elevator, stepless Z-bridge Bring 2 Work (B2W) system, motion compensated crane, DP2 and accommodation for 43 technicians and crew, according to the spec sheet on Longitude Engineering’s website. The eSOV will be powered by a hybrid 20MWh battery system and dual-fuel methanol generators.
As well as Bibby Line, the eSOV consortium consists of Port of Aberdeen, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Kongsberg, DNV, Shell, and Liverpool John Moores University. In November it was revealed the project has been awarded a £20 million financing grant by Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation agency under the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition.
In December, Bibby and the consortium also put out a call for expressions of interest from companies who might be able to contribute their knowledge and expertise in digital twin technology to the project, which would be applied in pre- and post-build design of the vessel.