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Offshore operator HST Marine (HST) has taken delivery of HST Ella, a new hybrid crew transfer vessel (CTV) designed by naval architect Chartwell Marine. HST Ella is the first hybrid Chartwell 24 vessel to hit the water, following her completion at local Isle of Wight shipyard Diverse Marine.

Tom Nevin, Chief Executive Officer, HST, commented, “Modern crew transfer operations in offshore energy increasingly require proven vessels with a powerful presence on the water. At the same time, a future-proof fleet consists of vessels with strong green credentials as the goal of emissions reduction continues to move up the agenda. Rapidly maturing hybrid technology means that environmental consciousness can sit hand in hand with operational excellence, and in the HST Ella, we have a vessel that delivers both, following a consultative design process with Chartwell Marine, and a high-quality build at Diverse Marine.”

The vessel exhibits performance characteristics of a market leading standard, demonstrating transit speeds of 10kt on electric propulsion and 30kt on diesel, while during port operations, the vessel’s electric operation mode allowed for quiet and zero emission low speed manoeuvrability.

This is enabled by the vessel’s unique hybrid propulsion system. An electric motor sits alongside a diesel engine to drive a high-performance changeable pitch propeller (CPP) system, ensuring superior manoeuvrability and operational flexibility. The system is coupled with the vessel’s advanced hull form for reduced frictional resistance, and its use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO30) as fuel – a market first for a new build CTV.

Advanced CTVs such as the HST Ella are increasingly expected to perform a range of auxiliary duties alongside personnel transport. The 26m vessel is able to carry 24 industrial personnel alongside a maximum payload of 15 tonnes, ensuring maximum versatility when supporting offshore wind operations. Following its launch, the HST Ella will depart to begin its maiden contract at the East Anglia 1 wind farm.

Ben Colman, Director, Diverse Marine, said, “The UK is rightly proud of its world leading maritime industry, and with this market first hybrid CTV, designed and built on the South Coast, we are proud to add to a long record of maritime innovation in this country. As we hand over the keys to the HST team, we wish them all the best as they take the HST Ella to charter to support safe, efficient wind farm operations.”