Windcat delivers the Windcat 57, the first CTV (Crew Transfer Vessel) of its new MK5 vessel design. The vessel will go into operation from mid-June in Scotland. The new MK5 design answers to the changing needs of the offshore wind industry. These vessels have been designed to deliver a high-performance vessel and further improve crew comfort. Focusing on sustainability all newly built MK5 vessels have a dual fuel hydrogen engine on board as standard and are prepared for a quick retrofit of the hydrogen storage and fuel supply system. 

Hydrogen-powered vessel design 

Windcat’s new MK5 design is based on the company’s experience over the past two decades and more specifically on the latest inputs and learnings from the hydrogen-powered MK3.5 and MK4 series. It has been developed in-house and offers a new, larger vessel type with optimised seakeeping capabilities and larger deck space while integrating the possibility for larger hydrogen storage on board. The vessels have an overall length of 27 metres. With an optimised hull shape, increased width, and freeboard, the vessels will achieve greater accessibility whilst maintaining comfort with improved seakeeping capabilities making them a perfect solution for offshore wind farms being developed further offshore.  

Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat, says: “We are very proud to announce the delivery of the first vessel in the new MK5 series. It is the product of many years of hard work, based on feedback from our clients and crew. Starting off with a very fuel efficient high performance platform combined with dual fuel hydrogen engines on board, we can answer more rapidly to the increasing demand for clean high performance CTVs. Allowing our customers to further reduce their CO2 emissions starting today.” 

 The focus on low fuel consumption has been maintained by selecting an efficient propulsion setup and a low drag hull shape. The vessels will be equipped with IMO Tier III engines, significantly reducing the NOx emissions even before the installation of the hydrogen system. 

 Dual fuel hydrogen combustion engines

To future-proof all the newbuild MK5 vessels, they are fitted with a dual fuel hydrogen engine on board as standard. These engines are co-developed by MAN and CMB.TECH. The vessels can be delivered with CMB.TECH’s full hydrogen system installed, capable of carrying up to 458 kg of compressed hydrogen, or as hydrogen-ready to be fitted with the hydrogen storage later. 

No fundamental changes to the vessel’s main engine are required, which means that maintenance and repair remain simple. Additionally, the hydrogen dual fuel engine can easily be switched back to traditional fuel without any modifications. Even if hydrogen is temporarily not available, the vessel can continue to run on traditional fuel, making it a very robust and reliable solution for the offshore wind industry. 

First of a series of six 

Six vessels are currently being built in this new MK5 design. The first one, Windcat 57 will enter service from June in Scotland. Hydrocat 58 & 60 will be delivered from Q1 next year. Windcat 59 will be delivered to TSM Windcat for the French market and Windcat 61 and 62 will be delivered to FRS Windcat for the Polish market from 2025.