RWE has awarded Van Oord with a contract to carry out the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of the monopile foundations and the inter-array cables for the 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm.
Sofia is sited on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometres from the North East coast of the UK.
Through its UK branch MPI Offshore, Van Oord will create a logistics hub to deliver the scope of work.
Offshore installation vessel Aeolus will be deployed to install the 100 extended monopile foundations without transition pieces.
The 350 kilometres of array cables will be installed by cable-laying vessel Nexus. Van Oord will sub-contract the fabrication of the foundations and array cables.
”RWE and Van Oord know each other well having worked together on four UK projects prior to the signing of this most recent EPCI contract for foundations and array cables,” Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables.
”At 1.4GW, Sofia is our largest and most ambitious offshore wind development to date. We look forward to leveraging our vast experience and learnings as we progress into the construction of this flagship project, and to realising its potential in terms of contributing to the UK’s net zero energy ambitions.”
The project will be executed by Van Oord Offshore Wind UK from their MPI Offshore office in Stokesley Teesside.
With the onshore converter station located near the village of Lackenby in Teesside and the recent announcement by the UK government of Freeport status for the Tees Valley, the area is expected to receive a boost. This will deliver opportunities for the local supply chain and create new jobs.
”Our project team is busy preparing for this great offshore wind project. Now that the contract is signed, the design phase will be started and the project team will commence its activities from our Stokesley office,” Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Van Oord Offshore Wind.
”The recent announcement of Freeport status for the Tees Valley will further stimulate the regional development of the offshore wind sector in this area. In the coming period, we will be actively marketing our supply chain opportunities and vacancies with a focus on sourcing well-trained staff.”
RWE reached the final investment decision for the GBP 3 billion Sofia project last week.
The wind farm will feature 100 SG 14-222 DD wind turbines scheduled to be fully commissioned in 2026. Offshore construction is expected to start in 2023.