ESVAGT turns 40 and heads towards new markets

Press release   •   May 14, 2021 08:00 CEST

ESVAGT's core value has for the past 40 years been safety at sea; a DNA that continues into the offshore wind industry.

ESVAGT has been servicing the energy sector since 1981 and has set the standard for safety and support at sea.

Today, the shipping company consists of 42 vessels and over 1,100 employees, and ESVAGT has just entered the growing American offshore wind energy market to play its part in the green transition.

‘We were certain that we could make a positive difference to safety at sea.’

That’s how Ole Andersen, ESVAGT’s first director, explains why he, Kent Kirk and Henning G. Kruse chose to start up Denmark’s first offshore shipping company in Esbjerg in 1981.

As ESVAGT turns 40 on the 14th of May, it is clear that the founders were right. Throughout its first 40 years, ESVAGT has set the standard for safety and support at sea. With 148 people rescued to date, the shipping company’s offshore vessel crews have absolutely made the crucial positive difference that the founders wanted. The most striking rescue was when the rig ‘West Gamma’ was hit by a violent storm in 1990 and sank. Fast Rescue Boats from two ESVAGT vessels – in heavy storm and pitching seas – rescued 46 people from the water. And the philosophy from the company’s formative years that ‘if you want to work with rescuing those at peril in all kinds of weather, you have to be able to look after yourself’ remains intact.

The foundation of all ESVAGT’s work remains that you need the right competences, the right training and the right equipment to do the job. And that is why ESVAGT continues to be fully focused on ensuring they have the proper training, development and improvements – even after 40 years.

Strong growth in wind

ESVAGT was founded to take advantage of the opportunities within the dawning Danish energy production in the North Sea. It started with two converted fishing trawlers in the Danish sector in 1981; today, ESVAGT’s fleet of specially built Emergency Response and Rescue Boats are at work in Denmark, Norway, Great Britain and Holland.

Since 2010, ESVAGT has been establishing itself in offshore wind energy, where ESVAGT’s Service Operation Vessel (SOV) concept using Safe Transfer Boats (STB) and gangway systems contribute to safe and efficient servicing work in offshore wind farms.

Each year, ESVAGT transfers more than 75,000 people between SOVs and offshore wind turbines using gangway systems and over 40,000 people by STB.

On its way to the U.S.

ESVAGT has now fully established itself as European market leader in the offshore wind energy market with its seven specially designed SOVs, and this is a position that the company is keen to build upon. Two more SOV vessels are on the way in 2021, and ESVAGT has recently set up business in the USA to support the American offshore wind energy industry.

For ESVAGT’s CEO, Peter Lytzen, the potential in the U.S. is perfect for ESVAGT:

‘Offshore wind energy has developed from being a European project to becoming a global industry with significant rates of growth. As an ambitious company, we are of course looking at how we can expand as offshore wind grows globally and as our customers enter new markets – and USA is clearly one of those,’ he says.


ESVAGT has its headquarters in Esbjerg, where 80 employees work in its offices and workshops. A further 1,000 employees work offshore on board its vessels. ESVAGT also has offices in Aberdeen and Copenhagen and has recently entered into a joint venture with the company, Crowley, on the American east coast.

Since 2015, ESVAGT has been owned by 3i Infrastructure and AMP Capital.


ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea and services both the offshore wind industry as well as the oil & gas industry.

We service offshore wind farms and have a fleet of dedicated Service Operation Vessels (SOV), which ESVAGT pioneered in 2010. The SOVs provide accommodation for technicians, spare time facilities, offices and conference room, storage for small turbine parts, workshops, etc. The SOV offers flexible personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and approximately 1100 employees offshore and onshore.