Utsira Nord Bidders Team Up with Westcon and Port of Karmsund

Deep Wind Offshore and EDF Renewables, who announced their joint bids in the upcoming tenders in Norway back last year, have enter into agreements with Westcon Yards and the Port of Karmsund to explore cooperation opportunities in floating wind.

Karmsund Port, Westcon, Deep Wind Offshore agreement; Photo: Haakon Nordvik

The Deep Wind Offshore-EDF Renewables partnership is expected to bid for both areas that will be offered by the Norwegian government next year, Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II (Southern North Sea II).

The agreements now signed with Westcon and the Port of Karmsund are for potential construction, assembly, and logistics for the development of Utsira Nord, which has been deemed suitable for floating wind turbines.

If the project proposal is successful in the Utsira Nord tender, Westcon Yards would carry out pre-fabrication and assembly of floaters, and the Karmsund port would be responsible for infrastructure and logistics. 

According to the Karmsund Port Authority, which cites findings from analysis carried out by Menon Economics on behalf of Haugaland Vekst in 2020, Utsira Nord can create great local value. 

For one area of ​​500 MW, approximately 6,000 jobs can be created in the development phase and 100 people will be employed in the long term, during the operations phase. In a scenario with a high local share, local employment during development and construction could reach over 4,000.

The port also emphasised its proximity to the floating offshore wind area and capabilities it has to support its development, as did Westcon Yards.

Karmsund Port Authority

“Our region has both extensive experience and complete competence for the development of offshore installations as well as the maritime industry. We are facilitating new large-scale industry and together with Vindafjord Municipality have clear plans for an assembly area at Dommersnes for upcoming offshore wind projects”, says Øystein Matre, General Manager at Westcon Yards. 

At the beginning of this month, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said it expected to launch the tender for Utsira Nord and for the first phase of Sørlige Nordsjø II offshore wind areas by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

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For Sørlige Nordsjø II, the government is proposing a so-called Anglo-Dutch auction, under which it plans to award 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the first phase and 1.5 GW in the second phase which will be auctioned at a later date. The competitive tender would be organised after a prequalification period.

For Utsira Nord, it has been decided earlier that the site will be awarded on the basis of qualitative criteria, including facilitating innovation and technology development in floating offshore wind. The area has a capacity of 1.5 GW, which the government will divide this into three sites, each of which can accommodate a wind farm of 500 MW.

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