BLUEPRINTS by a Southampton maritime firm have been selected for the construction of eight advanced support vessels for off-shore wind farms.

Winning designs by BMT Nigel Gee Ltd have been picked out by Australian shipbuilder Strategic Marine to build eight 26- metre wind farm support vessels.

The Shamrock Quay-based firm has already supplied eight vessels for coastal wind farm support company Njord Offshore Ltd who will receive these new crafts as early as next year.

BMT Nigel Gee’s technical director Ed Dudson said: “These 26-metre vessels are designed specifically to provide improved operational flexibility, capability and efficiency.

“This contract further reinforces BMT’s position as a leader in the design of offshore wind-farm support vessels.”

With a beam of 9.1 metres, powered by four Scania DI16 070 diesel engines, the craft will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 27.5 knots and suitable for operation up to 150 nautical miles from shore.

They will offer significant improvement in efficiency and comfort, with market leading fuel consumption and noise levels. The first two vessels will be delivered early in 2015.

Njord Offshore director Tom Mehew said: “We have now completed over 20,000 transfers with our BMT designed 21-metre wind farm support vessels and have been delighted with their performance.

“Therefore, going back to BMT for the 26-metre design was an easy choice for us.

“Designed specifically for wind farms further offshore, the design and layout of the 26-metre CPP will offer increased speed, efficiency and operational capability for our clients.”

Strategic Marine business development manager Paul Liddington added: “We are extremely pleased to be working with BMT Nigel Gee again to offer Njord Offshore another world class product.”