Wind energy – Dogger Bank
North Star Group has clinched the service operations vessel (SOV) contract to support the third phase of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the coast of Yorkshire.
The UK firm has secured a long-term charter worth approximately £90 million to deliver an additional ship boasting its new hybrid-powered renewables fleet design for Dogger Bank C to support offshore wind technicians working in the field.
This will be the fourth SOV and associated daughter craft the business has been contracted to build and operate by Dogger Bank’s joint partners Equinor, SSE Renewables and Eni this year, making North Star the exclusive service vessel operator for the world’s largest wind farm for at least the next decade.
In March, the firm won the initial contract for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B following a competitive tender for the design and delivery of three SOVs in a deal worth an estimated £270 million.
Each of the four Dogger Bank SOVs have been contracted on a 10-year agreement, with three additional one-year options. The £360 million combined value is believed to be one of the world’s most successful offshore renewables related SOV charter deals of 2021, and further consolidates North Star’s position as the UK’s leading offshore infrastructure support services company.
North Star’s new SOVs are high performance, sustainable vessels capable of supporting net-zero goals and utilising fuels of the future. They provide comfortable, floating-hotel style accommodation to offshore wind turbine technicians and a centralised logistics hub to travel to and from work each day across a walk-to-work gangway, or transfer via a smaller daughter craft vessel. The SOVs are also configured to handle cargo and act as a warehouse.
North Star CEO, Matthew Gordon said: “Securing the final SOV contract required for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm development for the next decade is an honour, and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at North Star and our talented technology partners. We are fully committed to supporting the local supply chain and communities in the UK where possible and are actively recruiting around 170 personnel from across the country to support this complete vessel package.
Rune Rønvik, Project Manager for Dogger Bank, said: “With the final SOV also being delivered by North Star we will have the same shipowner across all three phases which means we will continue the constructive cooperation we have started and develop the operational synergies further.
“As we have seen from North Star’s initial contract award, securing big orders can really help UK businesses enter the offshore wind market, secure investment and create jobs, and we at Dogger Bank are proud to have played a role in enabling this UK company take advantage of the global opportunity presented by offshore wind.”
“We are honoured of having all four SOVs in our portfolio, and it confirms that our investments in the renewable energy field are right both for our customers and for VARD. Together we continue our contribution to a sustainable future, actively working to get to zero emission.”