North Star Group has been awarded the service operations vessel (SOV) contract to support the third phase of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the coast of Yorkshire.
The UK firm has secured a long-term charter worth approximately £90 million to deliver an additional ship boasting its new hybrid-powered renewables fleet design for Dogger Bank C to support offshore wind technicians working in the field.
This will be the fourth SOV and associated daughter craft the business has been contracted to build and operate by Dogger Bank’s joint partners Equinor, SSE Renewables and Eni this year, making North Star the exclusive service vessel operator for the world’s largest wind farm for at least the next decade.
In March 2021, the firm won the initial contract for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B following a competitive tender for the design and delivery of three SOVs in a deal worth an estimated £270 million.
Each of the four Dogger Bank SOVs have been contracted on a 10-year agreement, with three additional one-year options. The £360 million combined value is believed to be one of the world’s most successful offshore renewables related SOV charter deals of 2021, and further consolidates North Star’s position as the UK’s leading offshore infrastructure support services company.
Around 40 new full-time positions in crewing and onshore-based jobs will be created locally in support of the Dogger Bank C contract, in addition to the 130 announced previously to support the first three SOVs. Recruitment is already underway, underpinning the company’s commitment to
The company, which employs around 1,400 personnel out of its facilities in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft, has unrivalled marine expertise in the North Sea. The business, which has been operating for 135 years, has the largest wholly owned UK fleet and currently supports more than 50 installations with its existing purpose-built tonnage.
North Star’s new SOVs are high performance, sustainable vessels capable of supporting net-zero goals and utilising fuels of the future. They provide comfortable, floating-hotel style accommodation to offshore wind turbine technicians and a centralised logistics hub to travel to and from work each day across a “walk-to-work” gangway, or transfer via a smaller daughter craft vessel. The SOVs are also configured to handle cargo and act as a warehouse.
Due to its size and scale, the Dogger Bank windfarm is being built in three consecutive 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. In total the wind farm is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, equivalent to powering six million homes.