Van Oord Picks Port of Tyne as Sofia Foundations Base

Van Oord has selected the Tyne Clean Energy Park at the Port of Tyne as the storage and marshalling base for the foundations of the 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm.

Port of Tyne/Illustration

The site will be occupied from the third quarter of 2023, with the base operational from the first quarter of 2024, as the business assists with the installation of the wind turbine foundations for RWE’s wind farm located on Dogger Bank in the North Sea, 195 kilometres off the coast of the UK.

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The contract will see the River Tyne welcome the tallest offshore vessel in the port’s history, Van Oord’s Aeolus.

The vessel is expected to arrive in January 2024, kicking off the marshalling operations, beginning an estimated 34 trips between the UK and Germany.

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Van Oord’s new base will benefit from direct access to a deep-water quay and will utilise the Port of Tyne’s 200-acre Tyne Clean Energy Park, which has recently benefitted from a GBP 20 million upgrade to its infrastructure. Enabling works will get underway in the first quarter of 2023 to upgrade the quay strength to accommodate Van Oord’s foundation marshalling project.

Van Oord’s activities encompass the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the wind turbine foundations and inter-array cables for Sofia.

The 100-turbine Sofia is now under construction and is expected to be fully operational in 2026. Once completed it will generate enough green energy to power the equivalent of approximately 1.2 million UK homes.

”We are delighted to partner with Van Oord in delivering another exciting step as we look to accelerate the region’s path towards a clean energy future,” said Matt Beeton, Chief Executive at Port of Tyne.

”The Tyne Clean Energy Park continues to be the closest major offshore wind development platform for developers operating in the North Sea, as we look to accelerate the country’s green energy revolution to triple the rate of wind turbine installation to hit the national 2030 target, creating jobs for the future and a skilled workforce for generations to come.”

Tyne Clean Energy Park is already acting as the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for Equinor to service what will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world once operational – Dogger Bank Wind Farm.


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