Saturday, July 2, 2022

Alicat secures £2 million contract to build further two new vessels for North Star’s renewables fleet

North Star has awarded a £2 million contract to Great Yarmouth firm Alicat Workboats for the construction of two new Chartwell designed daughter craft. The vessels will be added to its new renewables fleet which is bound for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the North East coast of England from next year.

Last September, the marine and engineering specialist firm successfully won a competitive tender to build an initial two daughter crafts for the offshore wind service vessel operator utilising a game changing hybrid powered design, developed by leading sustainable naval architect Chartwell Marine, in collaboration with North Star. The partnership has resulted in the build of high-performance vessels that combine diesel and electric outboard propulsion, a first for the offshore wind market.

North Star’s first fleet purpose built for offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) support is being delivered to the Dogger Bank Wind Farm partners Equinor, SSE Renewables and Eni Plenitude, from February next year. The full tonnage package includes four of North Star’s unique hybrid-powered service operation vessels (SOVs). These ships provide state-of-the-art comfort and accommodation for wind farm technicians working in field and encompass the latest green technologies to integrate and futureproof for zero emission fuels in the future.

The four vessels being built by Alicat to the Chartwell Daughter Craft design specifications will support operations with the safe transfer of maintenance technicians and equipment between the SOVs and wind turbines at Dogger Bank Wind Farm during phases A, B, and C, providing further flexibility in field when it comes to personnel deployment and logistics.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni Plenitude (20%).

Alicat director Simon Coote said: “As we continue to work towards completing the first two daughter craft for North Star’s first offshore wind fleet, we are very pleased that our craftmanship, continued collaboration and expertise has been recognised and we have been awarded this multimillion-pound contract for two additional daughter craft.

“This commitment from North Star helps to sustain our business for a further two years, creating new employment opportunities and securing our workforce for the long term. We currently have a very loyal and dedicated team, and we anticipate increasing our headcount with a further five new hires in the coming months, including up to three new apprentices.”

Andrew Duncan, renewables director at North Star said: “As the UK’s largest offshore infrastructure support vessel operator, we have a proven track record of successfully delivering multiple newbuild projects simultaneously and therefore we have incredibly high standards for those we engage with to help achieve and maintain this.

“We have been working very closely with Alicat since the first Chartwell design daughter craft award 10 months ago, and they have really impressed us with their knowledge, workmanship, and ‘can-do’ attitude which has resulted in some significant enhancements and efficiencies. We have worked together for example on the interface of the daughter craft to the SOV power grid preboarding to charge the hybrid packs, power HVAC systems and spin the daughter craft’s gyroscope stabiliser technology prior to technicians boarding for efficiency and daily operational readiness.

“Collaborating this way allows us to always be pushing the envelope for our clients and delivering best in-class ships and solutions to support wind farm operators across Europe.”

Steve Wilson, project director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said: “It’s great to see North Star strengthening our future operational fleet with additional daughter craft from Alicat, while supporting new job opportunities with the Great Yarmouth-based marine specialist. Our vessels will be critical to the safe and efficient operation of the world’s largest offshore wind farm when they enter service from next year onwards.”

North Star employs 1,300 personnel and has the world’s largest daughter rescue fleet with 63 assets currently being managed and maintained by its two rescue boat divisions in Aberdeen and Lowestoft.

About North Star:   

North Star is the market leading UK provider of mission critical, offshore infrastructure support services to offshore wind and offshore oil and gas markets 

The firm has bases in Aberdeen, Lowestoft and Newcastle, employs 1,300 crew and onshore personnel, and has been supporting the energy sector for the past four decades. Its offshore infrastructure support vessel fleet boasts 46 assets and provides continuous around the clock support services to more than 50 North Sea installations.  The company has four Service Operations Vessels that will support the under constructed Dogger Bank Wind Farm. 

The 135 year-old business, which was originally established to support the fisheries industry, is also the country’s largest employer of offshore cadets. Since 1996, it has trained around 900 future deck and engineering trainees, investing £1million annually on average to develop the next generation.  

By combining safety, service and quality, the company delivers exceptional levels of support to its clients in one of world’s most challenging and demanding industries. 

About Dogger Bank Wind Farm:   

  • The 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when completed in 2026.  
  • It is being built in three 1.2GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.  
  • The project is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni Plenitude (20%).   
  • SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years.  
  • Financial Close on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B was reached in November 2020, with Financial Close for Dogger Bank C reached in December 2021. Taken in aggregate, reaching Financial Close on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.  
  • Consent for Dogger Bank Wind Farm was granted in 2015.  
  • Each of the three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm secured 15-year CfD contracts for 1.2GW of low carbon power for of low carbon power production in the UK’s third CfD Allocation Round, announced September 2019.  
  • In May 2021, Dogger Bank Wind Farm took another major step forward after passing a required delivery milestone under the UK’s Contracts for Difference scheme for low carbon power.  
  • Dogger Bank Wind Farm is located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.  
  • Onshore construction began in 2020 and is currently underway for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with offshore construction on Dogger Bank A expected to begin in Q2 2022. First power is expected in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024 for Dogger Bank A and B, respectively, with commercial operations to follow around 6 months later.  
  • Onshore cable installation civils works for Dogger Bank C started in Q1 2022, with construction of the onshore convertor station to commence in Q2 2022. Offshore export cable installation will commence in Q1 2024 with offshore platform installation to commence in Q2 2024. Foundation installation will commence in Q3 2024 while turbine installation will commence in Q2 2025. First power is anticipated in Q3 2025 and full power in Q1 2026.   
  • More than 3000 new UK jobs have been announced so far that will be supported by the construction and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.   
  • These include up to 750 direct and around 1,500 indirect jobs associated with the set-up of a new world-class blade manufacturing facility on Teesside by LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, with production expected to start in 2023.   
  • 470 jobs are expected to be recruited by GE Renewable Energy across the north east of England in support of the delivery and operation of all three phases of the project. These will be made up of around 300 skilled roles for turbine installation and commissioning activities and 170 servicing roles at Port of Tyne under GE’s five-year Service and Warranty Agreements for Dogger Bank phases A, B and C once operational.   
  • At least a further 30 roles will be hired by Equinor as operator of the wind farm, based at the Port of Tyne or offshore.  
  • 170 new full-time UK-based jobs will be created by North Star Renewables in crewing and shore-based roles for the operation of the service fleet for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.  
  • Up to 100 peak construction jobs will be created by Jones Bros. Civil Engineering, one of the UK’s leading civil engineering contractors, on the installation of onshore cable infrastructure for Dogger Bank A and B.   
  • Dogger Bank A and B has confirmed GE’s Haliade-X 13MW as the turbine powering the first two phases of the project. As the first order for the Haliade-X 13MW, installation at Dogger Bank A will be the first time the turbine is installed in the world.  
  • Installation of GE’s upscaled Haliade-X 14MW turbine at Dogger Bank C will be the first time the 14MW turbine is installed in the world.  
  • One rotation of the Haliade-X turbine blades can power one UK home for more than two days.  
  • The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations.  
  • Dogger Bank will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore, introducing new transmission systems to the UK and paving the way for other large offshore wind farms.  
  • For more information about Dogger Bank Wind Farm visit www.doggerbank.com    

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