Navigare Capital Partners has announced its first foray into the shipping segment for boats designed to service offshore wind farms, investing in five purpose-built vessels to be delivered by 2025.

The Copenhagen-based alternative investment fund manager, which focuses on maritime assets, said the deal was its first investment in the offshore wind support vessel segment.

The investment had been made by its Maritime Investment Fund II, the firm said, in collaboration with the new Norwegian firm Norwind Offshore which was established last year to own ships in the offshore wind sector.

Henrik Ramskov, managing partner of Navigare Capital said: “The investment in offshore wind support vessels is an important next step in our strategy for net zero emissions and our commitment to achieving this.”

The investment consists of five purpose-built vessels - four of which will be commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs) to be delivered between 2023 and 2025 - plus one service operation vessel (SOV) for delivery this year.

Navigare Capital said it had made a majority investment in the partnership with Norwind Offshore, but Ramskov declined to reveal the value of the new investment in CSOVs and SOVs.

The vessels, built by Norway’s VARD, have battery-hybrid propulsion and shore power connectors for emission-free operation in ports and offshore fields, where possible, Navigare said, adding that the ships also had power management systems for fuel-efficiency.

As part of the rationale for investing in the offshore wind vessel segment, Navigare cited figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency, shipping services provider Clarksons Platou as well as other sources supporting the hypothesis that the market would grow exponentially towards 2030, and maintain very strong growth after that.

Ramskov told IPE Real Assets that because the world’s wind farms were being built increasingly far away from shore for various reasons - a trend that was set to continue - the demands of the vessels providing commissioning and servicing were also becoming greater and greater.

“The war in Ukraine and EU increased ambition within offshore has, if anything, increased the growth expectations,” he said.

Following a summit meeting last Wednesday in the Danish port town of Esbjerg, Dutch, German, Belgian and Danish heads of state and government, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, signed a declaration on the North Sea as “a Green Power Plant of Europe”.

The leaders said, inter alia, that their countries would ”increasingly replace fossil fuels, including Russian oil, coal and gas, with European renewable energy from the North Sea, including offshore wind and green hydrogen, contributing to both EU climate neutrality and energy security”.