Green Rebel Marine, a new business established to service the future needs of offshore wind farms, has announced plans to create 80 jobs in Cork over the next 18 months.

The company also said today it had bought Crosshaven Boatyard in Co Cork. 

The nine acre site will serve as a base for the new operation to survey, equip and service a network of planned wind farms along the Irish coast. Crosshaven Boatyard will continue its normal operations as a boat yard. 

Green Rebel Marine was founded by Cork businessman Pearse Flynn.

He has invested €10m of his own money into the project, including the purchase of two specially equipped, high tech ships to service this nascent industry.

The first vessel - the Bibby Athena, which will be renamed to Roman Rebel - has already arrived into Cork. The second is scheduled to arrive later this year. 

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the coast from Dundalk in Co Louth, to the Cork coast and beyond. 

Their construction will not only increase Ireland's ability to produce renewable energy, it will also create an entire new sector dedicated to servicing their operation.

Pearse Flynn said that Ireland is on the verge of a green revolution that will deliver five gigwatts of energy from wind not generated on land, but far out to sea. 

"Green Rebel Marine will work alongside the operators of this new array of wind turbines to ensure they remain operational by using skilled mariners who are trained here," he said.

"We have already hired some of the industry's leading scientists who will help conduct surveying in the months ahead, and our team will remain involved in these projects until they are operational and beyond. This is a new sector, and one that has incredible potential to deliver for our maritime community," he added.

Meanwhile, Cork based shipping company, Irish Mainport Holdings, is also entering the offshore wind sector.

It has invested in a 50m survey and research vessel, the Mainport Geo.

"We know there is over €5bn investment planned over next few year 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," said Dave Ronayne, chief executive of Mainport.

The company has also bought a share of Wicklow based offshore services company, Alpha Marine. 

"This strategic investment will increase our operational capability and enable us to deliver a strong Irish supply chain proposition to windfarm developers and tier 1 & 2 contractors," said Tim Greenwood, Commercial Director of Alpha Marine.

Mainport already 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.

It also has international operations, including in Malaysia and Australia.