Danish energy company Dong Energy said Thursday that it is planning to build the world’s largest offshore wind hub in northeast England to service the growing number of vessels operating in the sector.
Dong says the multi-million pound operations and maintenance hub will be built in Grimsby, England, on the River humber near where it meets the North Sea. It will be served by the increasingly high-tech vessels working in the emerging offshore wind energy industry, some of which can accommodate 60 or more crew and stay at sea for long periods of time.
The hub will also include a comprehensive marine coordination center for providing 24/7 service to offshore operations across the UK and even further overseas, according to Dong.
Dong is planning to develop the new facility in the town of Royal Dock and will initially support Westermost Rough, Race Bank and Hornsea Project One offshore wind farms. But Dong says in the future the hub will have the capacity to support other east coast wind farms included in the company’s development pipeline.
Brent Cheshire, UK Country Chairman of DONG Energy said: “This new operational hub in Grimsby will be a game changing industry first, raising the bar for the way we serve offshore wind farms. It will generate direct and indirect job opportunities in the Humber region, as well as opportunities for the local supply chain.
“It represents a massive vote of confidence to the UK offshore wind industry and confirms our commitment to the Humber region where by 2019 we expect to have invested around GBP 6 billion,” he added.
The new hub will be located alongside the existing Westermost Rough operation and maintenance facility, using additional land to be leased from Associated British Ports.
Dong said that off the bat the hub will act as home base for two state-of-the-art Service Operational Vessels (SOVs), pictured below, that will be supplied by Ostensjo Rederi on charter to Dong Energy. The first vessel is expected to arrive late next year to support a phased activation on the new facility.