North Start He Dreiht SOV

North Star Makes First Offshore Wind Move Outside UK with SOV Charter Deal for He Dreiht

UK-headquartered North Star has secured a contract with energy utility company EnBW to deliver a new hybrid-electric service operations vessel (SOV) on a decade-long minimum charter to service the He Dreiht offshore wind farm in Germany.

North Start He Dreiht SOV
Source: North Star

The newbuild is of VARD 407 design which has been tailored to meet EnBW’s specific requirements. North Star has contracted India’s Cochin Shipyard to build the ship bound for EnBW.

“He Dreiht is currently one of Europe’s largest energy transition projects and once operational, will supply green power to 1.1million homes. Following the highly regulated EU tendering process, we are thrilled to be selected by EnBW as part of their maintenance solution to ensure once completed, the wind farm remains consistently operational and generating renewable electricity,” said Caspar Blum, North Star European renewables lead.

The vessel will feature the Voith Schneider eVSP propulsion system and will be prepared for the use of methanol as a fuel. The SOV will also be fully equipped with a height-adjustable motion-compensated gangway and 3D compensated crane.

“This vessel will be the backbone of our service and logistics operations at our He Dreiht wind farm. Working with North Star, we were able to specify its setup to ideally meet the requirements of our operations teams. Its innovative, methanol-based propulsion system helps us to further decarbonise our industry’s operations,” said Michael Splett, Global Head of O&M Wind Offshore at EnBW.

Scheduled to commence long-term charter with EnBW from the end of next year, the SOV will provide accommodation for up to 34 wind technicians as they maintain the project’s 64 V236-15.0 MW wind turbines provided by Vestas. The ship will also act as a logistics hub and warehouse.

The agreement marks the firm’s first offshore wind win outside the UK market, a milestone step in its European growth strategy to add 40 new SOVs to its fleet by 2040.

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The He Dreiht offshore wind farm has a grid connection capacity of 900 MW and an excess capacity of 60 MW in order to use the connection capacity as efficiently as possible, even when production is lower.

The project is located 85 kilometres northwest of the Island of Borkum and 110 kilometres west of Heligoland.

EnBW is the majority owner (50.1 per cent) and the developer of the project. The consortium consisting of Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz insurance companies, AIP and Norges Bank, holds the remaining 49.9 per cent in the wind farm.

Once fully operational in 2025, the He Dreiht offshore wind farm will generate green electricity for the equivalent of 1.1 million German households.

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NOTE: The original article has been updated.