UK-based North Star Renewables has been awarded contracts for delivering three service operation vessels for the Dogger Bank wind farm.
The total value of the contracts including options is estimated to be at about GBP 270 million.
The 3.6 GW Dogger Bank wind farm will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when complete in 2026 and is being built in three equal phases of 1.2 GW each (Dogger Bank A, B and C). The contracts with North Star are associated with the A and B phases.
The three SOVs will feature hybrid-battery technology and dynamic positioning (DP2) for walk-to-work crew transfers and equipment to and from the turbines in wave heights above 3 meters.
“The awards will create a good basis for Aberdeen-headquartered North Star to expand their services to support the UK’s growing offshore wind sector,” says Halfdan Brustad, vice president for Dogger Bank at Equinor. “Dogger Bank is at the forefront of innovation, and we want to attract the best talents to come work on this ground-breaking project. The high-end SOVs will ensure our teams have a comfortable stay offshore, which is important before a day’s work on the turbines. We have incorporated leading technology to ensure we can operate the wind farm safely, sustainably and efficiently.”
North Star will deliver the first SOV in January 2024 to be used for scheduled maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B. The vessel will also serve Dogger Bank C when the third phase is operational. The other two SOVs will be delivered by North Star in July 2023 and July 2024, respectively, to be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B.
All three contracts will run for a fixed period of 10 years and include three one-year options. A contract for a fourth SOV to be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank C is also forthcoming.
Onshore construction for Dogger Bank A and B began in January 2020 and remains on track despite challenges from COVID-19. Offshore installation is planned to begin from 2022, with the first power from Dogger Bank A expected later in the year. Around 200 people will be needed to operate the wind farm, based either offshore or at a new base to be constructed at the Port of Tyne.
“While work continues to ramp up on the construction of the wind farm, these state-of-the-art hybrid vessels will play a critical future role in ensuring the safe and efficient maintenance of the development when it reaches the operational phase,” says Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank Wind Farm project director. “It’s an important milestone for the project and provides some insight into what life will be like working on the world’s largest offshore wind farm whilst living on board these technologically advanced SOVs.”
SSE Renewables is the operator during the construction phase of the wind farm and Equinor will be the operator during the operations and maintenance phase.
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