Hamburg-based Bernhard Schulte forms Joint Venture with MidOcean Wind to create specialist vessels to support US OW projects
Bernhard Schulte is a multinational family-owned shipping company with its headquarters based in Hamburg and 30 offices all over the world. In total Bernhard Schulte employs about 17,000 seafarers and about 1,400 people onshore, owns about 100 vessels and manages about 600 watercraft.
MidOcean Wind (MOW) is a subsidiary of MidOcean Marine, a privately-owned company specializing in niche U.S. Flag maritime projects, frequently with an environmentally-conscious approach as evidenced by affiliate company Clean Marine Energy. MidOcean has operated over 20 ships and has more than 35 years experience operating U.S. vessels and is a U.S. Jones Act compliant ship owner.
The Connecticut-based joint venture signals a new chapter of cooperation between BSO and MOW, which began in late 2018 when the two parties partnered in WINDEA Offshore US to provide a single point of contact for offshore wind customers in the US.
Volckert van Reesema, co-founder and principal of MOW, says, “We have been following the successes of the Schulte Group for some time now and recognise they share the same business values and focus on long-term partnerships. Their experience in the operation of offshore wind vessels is needed to support this upcoming new industry in the U.S.”
Matthias Müller, Managing Director of BSO explains, “The Schulte Group has a track record of more than 550 new-building projects around the globe and MidOcean is a specialist at building vessels of various types under the local regulations in several U.S. shipyards. Since the on-time delivery of a vessel to our charterers is critical, we are the ideal partners to support the U.S. offshore wind industry with specialised units.”
Bradley Neuberth of MOW says, “Wind farm owners and turbine manufacturers will be able to reduce their risks by working with our team. MidOcean will ensure the vessels will be Jones Act compliant and delivered as agreed. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement as the operator of the ships will bring the learnings of the European wind farm projects into the U.S. market. We have been working closely with the Schulte Group for more than a year and the time is right to formalise our partnership on offshore wind vessels.”
Building on the WINDEA Offshore USA JV
MOW and BSO have been linked since the late 2018 formation of WINDEA Offshore USA. Designed to act as a single point of contact for offshore wind customers, WINDEA Offshore USA mirrors the efforts of the established German entity WINDEA Offshore. The company provides a full suite of services for construction support and O&M activities. It is a joint venture of three established and family-owned companies, Bernhard Schulte Offshore, Buss Offshore Solutions, and EMS Maritime Offshore
This is a significant step forward for the US OW industry. The Jones Act is a potential drag on the ability of the sector to efficiently move components and entire turbines around the coasts and deploy them in a cost-effective way. This joint venture will clearly be advantageous to the developing industry and signals business confidence that there will be sufficient work available to justify such vessels.
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