News

2021 March 17 16:27

Contracts awarded for state-of-the-art service operation vessels for Dogger Bank wind farm

The Dogger Bank A and B phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm have awarded UK-based North Star Renewables contracts for delivering three service operation vessels (SOVs) for the operation of these phases. The total value of the contracts including options is estimated at about GBP 270 million, according to Equinor's release.

The three SOVs will incorporate the latest technology, including a hybrid battery solution and power-to-shore to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Technicians servicing the turbines will spend two weeks on board the high-tech vessels, more than 130 km off the North East coast of England, ensuring the wind farm phases are safely and efficiently maintained to provide optimum wind turbine availability.

SSE Renewables is the operator during the construction phase of the wind farm and Equinor will be the operator during the operations and maintenance phase. Around 200 people will be needed to operate the wind farm, based either offshore or at a new base to be constructed at the Port of Tyne.

Dogger Bank will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when complete in 2026, and is being built in three equal phases of 1.2 GW; Dogger Bank A, B and C.

North Star will deliver one SOV to be used for scheduled maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B. The vessel is due to be delivered in January 2024 and will also serve Dogger Bank C when this phase of the wind farm is operational.

A further two SOVs will be delivered by North Star to be used for corrective maintenance, at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B. Delivery of these vessels is scheduled for July 2023 and July 2024 respectively.

A further contract for an SOV to be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank C will be tendered at a later stage.

Each vessel will have dynamic positioning (DP2) capability, with walk-to-work gangways for safe transfer of personnel and equipment to and from the turbines. Using these gangways means that technicians will be able to transfer safely in wave heights above 3 meters, increasing the productive time on turbines and optimising wind farm availability.

All three contracts will run for a fixed period of 10 years and include three one-year options.

Onshore construction for Dogger Bank A and B began in January 2020 and remains on track despite challenges presented by Covid-19. Offshore installation will begin from 2022, with the first power from Dogger Bank A expected in the same year.

Dogger Bank A and B are a joint venture between Equinor (40%), SSE Renewables (40%) and Eni (20%). These phases reached Financial Close in November 2020, securing the largest ever project financing in offshore wind.

The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale and is owned by Equinor (50%) and SSE Renewables (50%). Financial Close is expected in late 2021.