North Star wins further £90m Dogger Bank contract

Aberdeen-based North Star Group said it has clinched the service operations vessel (SOV) contract to support the third phase of the SSE-led Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the coast of Yorkshire.

North Star said it secured a long-term charter worth £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.

The new follows an announcement in March that North Star won the initial contract for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B for the design and delivery of three SOVs in a deal worth £270 million.

“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,” said the Aberdeen firm.

“In March, 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 jobs in crewing and onshore-based jobs will be created in support of the Dogger Bank C contract, in addition to the 130 announced previously to support the first three SOVs.

North Star employs around 1,400 in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft.

North Star CEO Matthew Gordon 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.

“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.”

Rune Rønvik, Project Manager for Dogger Bank, 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.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.