New £90m wind farm vessel contract to create dozens of jobs

This is North Star Group’s fourth service operations vessel (SOV) contract for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

New £90m wind farm vessel contract to create dozens of jobs Website
North Sea: This is North Star Group’s fourth service operations vessel contract for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

An Aberdeen shipping firm has won a £90m contract to support the third phase of a giant North Sea offshore wind farm.

This is North Star Group’s fourth service operations vessel (SOV) contract for Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the coast of Yorkshire, having previously secured deals worth £270m.

The high-performance, sustainable vessels provide 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.

They are also configured to handle cargo and act as a warehouse.

The firm said the new long-term charter for Dogger Bank C would help create around 40 full-time jobs in crewing and onshore-based roles – in addition to the 130 previously announced for the first three SOVs.

Matthew Gordon, North Star CEO, said: “Securing the final SOV contract required for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm development for the next decade is an honour, and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at North Star and our talented technology partners.

“We are fully committed to supporting the local supply chain and communities in the UK where possible and are actively recruiting around 170 personnel from across the country to support this complete vessel package.”

The SOV is being developed by joint venture partners SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni.

Each of the vessels are contracted on a ten-year agreement, with three additional one-year options.

Mr Gordon added: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Equinor, SSE Renewables and Eni for their enthusiasm and confidence in our SOV service, which significantly shifts the dial on sustainability, comfort, safety and workability.

“These hybrid-powered vessels are futureproofed for tomorrow’s zero-carbon emission marine fuels and the superior home-from-home living space will provide the offshore wind technicians exceptional respite from the often-harsh North Sea environment.

“The Dogger Bank C award has put us in an even stronger market position to deliver further value to our shareholders as we continue with our strategic ambitions to secure additional projects in the UK offshore renewables market and beyond.”

Due to its size and scale, the wind farm is being built in three consecutive 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C.

It is scheduled for completion in 2026.

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.

Project manager Rune Ronvik said: “With the final SOV also being delivered by North Star we will have the same ship owner across all three phases which means we will continue the constructive cooperation we have started and develop the operational synergies further.

“As we have seen from North Star’s initial contract award, securing big orders can really help UK businesses enter the offshore wind market, secure investment and create jobs, and we at Dogger Bank are proud to have played a role in enabling this UK company take advantage of the global opportunity presented by offshore wind.”