CORK based shipping company, Irish Mainport Holdings, has announced its entry into the offshore wind sector with its investment in a 50 metre survey and research ship.
Simultaneously, the company has also bought a share of Wicklow based offshore services company, Alpha Marine.
In Ireland, Mainport operates three tugs in the Shannon estuary, provides a dedicated supply vessel at the Kinsale Natural Gas Field, as well as ship agency and stevedoring operations in Cork and Limerick and internationally Mainport operate seismic support ships in worldwide trading.
The new ship, 2015 builtis located in Ivory Coast at present and will be delivered to Cork shortly.
Dave Ronayne, Chief Executive of Mainport said the company is delighted with the new ship, "which will be very suitable for the offshore renewable sector in Ireland".
"We know there is over €5 billion investment planned over the next few years on the east coast of Ireland by many major existing offshore wind operators such as Innogy, Parkwind, ESB, Statkraft, Fred Olsen and SSE and all these new wind farms will require surveying services.
"This ship is also very suitable for the Italian scientific research markets," he said.
"We are very happy to join with Alpha Marine who are ideally located on the east coast of Ireland and who have a great track record on providing services to the offshore wind industry over the last decade.
"Our combined resources will allow us to provide a full marine and technical solution to all marine requirements," he continued.
Alpha Marine has a long history of service to the offshore wind sector, both in Ireland and overseas.