The UK’s BMT has been awarded a contract to design two crew transfer vessels (CTVs) for the expanding US offshore wind industry.

They will be deployed to service Orsted’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project with delivery of the first vessel due early next year and the second earmarked for late 2020.

BMT said it has designed the 20 metre vessels specifically for East Coast conditions with manoeuvrability, performance and redundancy in mind whilst reaching a top speed in the region of 28 knots.

James Lewis, project manager for specialised ship design at BMT said: “We are hugely excited to be a part of this project.

“The US offshore wind market is set for exponential growth and is in a unique position to benefit from the years of experience and lessons learned from wind farm operations in Europe.

“BMT has been at the forefront of offshore wind farm service vessel designs as it has continuously worked with operators in the industry to develop vessels specific to industry requirements.”

The endangered North Atlantic right whales are said to have been a key driver in the design of this vessel, culminating in the smallest quad jet wind farm vessel that BMT has ever designed.

“The custom vessel, designed with a reduced overall length, will operate safely and harmoniously with the whale communities within the North Atlantic’s seasonal management area locations,” BMT said.