Norway’s Equinor has awarded UK-based North Star Renewables contracts to supply Service Operations Ships (SVOs) for the first two phases of operation of its Dogger Bank wind farm off the coast of the UK.

Equinor confirmed on Wednesday that North Star will deliver three SVOs for the A and B phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm, valued at approximately £ 270 million (US $ 375.6 million) including options.

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The contracts stipulate that a ship – which is expected to be delivered in January 2024 – will be used for scheduled maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B. Equinor notes that it will also be used in the planned third phase, Dogger Bank C.

The remaining two SVOs will be delivered in July 2023 and July 2024, respectively, and will be used for corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B.

All three contracts have a term of 10 years and include three one-year options.

Equinor said a contract for an SVO to perform correction work at Dogger Bank C will be tendered at a later date.

“State-of-the-art hybrid ships”

Technicians who maintain the wind turbines will be on board for two weeks on each ship to ensure optimum availability of the wind turbines during the operating phases.

“We are delighted that a British supplier is winning these orders in tough international competition. The awards provide a good basis for Aberdeen-based North Star to expand its services and support the growing UK offshore wind sector, ”said Halfdan Brustad, Vice President of Dogger Bank at Equinor.

“The high-end SOVs ensure that our teams have a pleasant stay offshore, which is important before a day’s work on the turbines. We have integrated leading technologies to ensure that we can operate the wind farm safely, sustainably and efficiently. “

Equinor found that the “leading technology” on board SVOs also included a hybrid battery solution and power-to-shore to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Each ship has dynamic positioning capability with walk-in aisles for the transfer of personnel and equipment to and from the turbines.

Equinor noted that the gangways would allow technicians to move safely at wave heights over three meters, which would extend turbine production time and optimize wind farm availability.

Server roles to be changed

Equinor will lead Dogger Bank during the operational phase, while UK-based SSE Renewables will act as operator during the construction phase.

It is claimed that the North Sea development will be the largest wind farm in the world by 2026. The wind farm is being developed in three 1.2 gigawatt phases in order to achieve a possible output of 3.6 GW.

Dogger Bank A and B are a joint venture between Equinor and SSE with 40% each and Eni with 20% each. Dogger Bank C is being developed on a different timescale and is owned by Equinor and SSE in a 50:50 joint venture.

The first two phases achieved a financial close last year, while the financial close for the third phase is expected later this year.