Aberdeen-based North Star Renewables has been awarded contracts worth an estimated £270 million to deliver three service operation vessels (SOVs) to be used on what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea.
North Star beat off strong international competition to secure the deal to design and deliver the three-vessel service operation fleet for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is currently being built by joint venture partners SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni.
North Star will deliver the SOVs to Dogger Bank Wind Farm operator Equinor from Summer 2023 and will be chartered to Dogger Bank by North Star for a ten-year period, with an option for three one-year extensions.
The company will create 130 new full-time UK-based jobs in crewing and shore-based roles for the lifetime of the contract.
Recruitment for the roles will start 12 months ahead of vessel delivery to Dogger Bank’s planned operations base in Port of Tyne.
The new positions will be based across Scotland and the North East of England and will grow North Star’s existing 1,400 strong workforce, 950 of which are in the UK and 350 of which are in Scotland.
Scottish Government Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is excellent news for the Aberdeen based North Star Renewables who are relatively new to the offshore wind sector but have a wealth of experience operating in the North Sea’s oil and gas sector.
“This contract is a welcome example of our domestic supply chain benefitting from the operation and maintenance of an offshore wind project off our coastline, bringing jobs and employment opportunities to communities in Scotland.”
The contract award is a renewables-first for North Star.
North Star CEO Matthew Gordon said: “We are pleased and proud to establish a new relationship with Equinor and are looking forward to working collaboratively with them and their partners, SSE Renewables and Eni.
“We have been working with our existing energy clients in the North Sea for over 40 years, with an outstanding reputation for delivering and operating offshore emergency support vessels safely.
We are now committed to building on the momentum of this contract award to further our diversification and firmly establish ourselves at the forefront of vessel design and delivery in the global renewables market.”
Steve Wilson, SSE Renewables Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said: “The jobs that these contracts bring to Scotland, the North East and the UK are a welcome boost and all part of the role Dogger Bank is playing in the UK’s green recovery.
“It’s an important milestone for the project and when delivered, these state-of-the-art hybrid vessels will have a critical future role in ensuring the safe and efficient maintenance of the development when it reaches the operational phase.”
Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said: “We are pleased that a UK supplier wins these contracts in a tough international competition.
“The awards will create a good basis for North Star to expand their services to support the UK’s growing offshore wind sector.
“The high-end SOVs will ensure our teams have a comfortable stay offshore, which is important before a day’s work on the turbines.
“We have incorporated leading technology to ensure we can operate the wind farm safely, sustainably and efficiently.”
In support of the contract, North Star will establish a new permanent presence at Port of Tyne.