Scottish firm in jobs boost with £270m contract secured for Dogger Bank wind farm

Aberdeen-based North Star Renewables will deliver three state-of-the-art vessels to the renewable power project

Aberdeen-based North Star Renewables will create 130 new green jobs after winning a £270 million contract to deliver three state-of-the-art vessels to Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm.

The Scottish firm beat off strong international competition to secure the deal to design and deliver the three-vessel service operation fleet for what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm being built by SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni.

It’s another boost for the UK supply chain following the news last week that Dogger Bank turbine blades will be manufactured at the new GE factory being built in Teesside, bringing another 750 jobs.

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.”

Welcoming the news of the contract award, 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 and represents a transformational step forward for the Scottish company in its energy transition ambitions to become a major player in the global offshore wind sector.

North Star 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.

Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm is currently under construction and at 3.6GW it will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when complete in 2026. It is being built in three equal phases of 1.2 GW; Dogger Bank A, B and C.

North Star chief executive, 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.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, Scotland-headquartered SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion. As wind farm operator Equinor will begin taking delivery of the three SOVs from North Star at its Port of Tyne operations base from 2023, ahead of commissioning of the first phase of the giant offshore wind farm.

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor welcomed the news and 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. Dogger Bank is at the forefront of innovation, and we want to attract the best talents to come work on this ground-breaking project.

“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.”

The contract award by Dogger Bank Wind Farm to North Star delivers once again on a commitment by partners Equinor, SSE Renewables and Eni to support the development of a UK supply chain, creating substantial local jobs and maximising UK supply chain opportunities.

 

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