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North Star to deliver SOV three months early to support Dogger Bank Wind Farm

North Star’s second hybrid-propulsion service operation vessels (SOVs) is set to be mobilised three months earlier than planned to support SSE Renewables with a new scope of work at the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The first of the firm’s new offshore wind fleet, Grampian Tyne, was blessed in June 2023 at an event held at the Dogger Bank O&M base in Port of Tyne.

The second SOV, Grampian Derwent, which is a larger ship with increased accommodation capacity and helideck, has recently been delivered to North Star in Vietnam.

The infrastructure vessel support firm will assist with the construction and commissioning stage at the initial phase of the wind farm’s development, which located 130km off the east Yorkshire coast.

This will allow the ships to then dovetail straight into their scheduled long-term charters to carry out operations and maintenance (O&M) related in field vessel activities for the development partners. The wind farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Vårgrønn (20%),

North Star has a track record of successfully building multiple vessels simultaneously on time and on budget. The 135-year-old business also has a £127 million finance package in place to fund its Dogger Bank SOV fleet newbuild programme, which will result in four of its hybrid-electric ships being operational in field by 2026, each on a 10-year minimum term charter agreement.

North Star employs around 1,300 personnel out of its facilities in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft, and has longstanding marine expertise in the North Sea.

Its sustainable SOV design supports net-zero goals. These ships provide hotel-quality accommodation to offshore wind turbine technicians and a centralised logistics hub in field. It is also configured to handle cargo and act as a warehouse.

Grampian Derwent is a larger iteration of the three other VARD designed newbuilds secured as part of the biggest SOV contract ever awarded in the UK.

This second ship boasts an increased warehouse capacity and ability to accommodate 50 client technicians compared to 40 personnel on the other fleet tonnage. The vessel is also equipped with a 17m helideck and larger 5Te capacity 3D crane for offshore lifting.

North Star has also begun work on the construction of its first two commissioning SOVs, after awarding the contract to VARD in Norway in May. This will see the two firms collaborate on up to four of its uniquely designed ships specifically tailored for this growth market.

Ships Montly - January 2024

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