Power and automation technology group ABB has secured contracts for supply of electrical propulsion systems for windmill installation vessels.

ABB said that the contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering applies in the first instance to two vessels, with an option for one more to be owned and operated by German energy company RWE Innogy. Contract value for the first two vessels is around $5m.

Odd Kleppe, head of Norway marine division at ABB, said: “These contracts are particularly important to us because they concern a market in growth, and which in time can compensate some for the downturn in the traditional markets.

“By positioning ourselves right from the start in this relatively new market, we can demonstrate that the technology already in use for many years on oil and gas-related vessels has been noticed by others in the global shipping industry.”

The vessels will be built in South Korea and delivery is planned for 2011. RWE Innogy is involved in building offshore wind farms of the coasts of Germany and Wales.