Hybrid vessels for vast North Sea offshore wind farm to be built in Vietnam

Three vessels to be used in the construction of a vast North Sea wind farm are to be built at a shipyard in Vietnam.

Vard’s Vung Tau facility will build the trio of service operation vessels (SOVs) for Aberdeen firm North Star Renewables.

The vessels will be used on the giant 3.6-gigawatt Dogger Bank wind farm in the North Sea.

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It recently emerged that North Star had fought off strong international competition to secure the deal to design and deliver the three-vessel service operation fleet for Dogger Bank, which is currently being built by joint venture partners Perth-headquartered SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni.

The state-of-the-art hybrid trio will operate on the Dogger Bank wind farm in the North Sea.

North Star Renewables chief executive Matthew Gordon said: “We’ve worked closely with the team at Vard for over two years on the development of our SOVs for Dogger Bank.

“I’m delighted to be able to say that the work which went into to designing the vessels to meet the optimal standards of workability, comfort, safety and sustainability has resulted in us securing the award of three vessels on long term charters, which is a huge step for North Star on our journey to becoming a leading player within the SOV market.

“It’s exciting that these designs will now move into the construction phase and continuing that journey with Vard is a natural extension of our strong relationship. We’re confident that we have a high-quality design and build partner that will support us in bringing these advanced new vessels to the market.”

The three vessels are set for handover to North Star in 2023. Various suppliers within the Norwegian maritime cluster are also involved in the project.

Vard chief executive Alberto Maestrini said: “Our dedicated team have had a close cooperation with North Star in developing these innovative ships for the Dogger Bank wind farm, and we look forward to continuing that good teamwork in developing future-oriented and environmentally friendly vessels for the renewables market. This market will continue to be one of the main pillars to support Vard’s growth.”

The hybrid vessels, which will measure between 78 and 85 metres in length, will be equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen-headquartered energy and engineering services group Wood is to build upon its 12-year relationship with Taqa following the award of a new contract to provide integrated facility services across the company’s North Sea assets.

With the award of a five-year facilities services agreement, Wood will focus on supporting Taqa’s operations across the Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant, Eider Alpha, Harding, Tern Alpha, Brae Alpha and East Brae operations.

Craig Shanaghey, Wood’s president for operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our long-standing relationship with Taqa following the award of this new contract.

“We are proud to have worked with Taqa since 2008 and see excellent opportunity, with the addition of the Brae Alpha and East Brae assets, to deliver a fully integrated facility services model.”

Wood provides consulting, projects and operations services in more than 60 countries, employing some 40,000 people.

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