North Star Makes Grand Entrance into Offshore Wind with Dogger Bank

Aberdeen-based company North Star Renewables has won the tender for the delivery of three service operation vessels (SOVs) for the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank project, which is set to become the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

Under a contract worth approximately GBP 270 million (around EUR 316 million), the Scottish company is responsible for the design and delivery of the three SOVs, which will be handed over to Dogger Bank Wind Farm operator Equinor starting in the summer of 2023. The vessels will be chartered to Dogger Bank for a ten-year period, with an option for three one-year extensions.

One SOV, due to be delivered in January 2024, will be used for scheduled maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B, and will also serve Dogger Bank C once it enters operation. Two SOVs – one of which is scheduled to be delivered in July 2023 and the other one in July 2024 – will be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B. A further contract for an SOV to be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank C will be awarded at a later stage.

In support of the contract for the Dogger Bank offshore wind project, North Star will establish a new permanent base at Port of Tyne.

The company, which owns and operates emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) in the North Sea, revealed its plans to enter the offshore wind market in 2020, when it also set up North Star Renewables. The contract for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm is the first for North Star in the renewable energy sector.

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“We are now committed to building on the momentum of this contract award to further our diversification and firmly establish ourselves at the forefront of vessel design and delivery in the global renewables market”, said Matthew Gordon, North Star CEO.

Some 130 new full-time jobs in crewing and shore-based roles will be created for the lifetime of the contract, with recruitment for the roles to start start twelve months ahead of vessel delivery. The new positions will be based across Scotland and the North East of England.

“This contract is a welcome example of our domestic supply chain benefitting from the operation and maintenance of an offshore wind project off our coastline, bringing jobs and employment opportunities to communities in Scotland”, said Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary.

North Star said that its SOV designs, which have been two-years in the making with its key strategic technology partners, were at the leading-edge of operability and sustainability to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The vessels will feature digital decision support technology, advanced propulsion systems, hybrid power management, a waste heat recovery system, and a new daughter-craft design.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is owned by SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, with the latter holding a 20 per cent stake in the first two phases of the project, Dogger Bank A and B. Dogger Bank C is owned 50/50 by SSE Renewables and Equinor.

Photo: North Star Renewables