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North Star lines up finance for Dogger SOVs

Posted on 24 August 2021

North Star lines up finance for Dogger SOVs

North Star Renewables has secured a £96m funding package to support the development of three new service operations vessels (SOVs) which are set for long term charters on SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni’s 3600MW Dogger Bank complex in the UK North Sea.

North Star secured the loan from financial services group Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) and will use the cash to supplement investment from North Star’s own balance sheet and equity commitments from the companies 100% shareholder, Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

The deal represents AllianzGI’s first foray into the SOV sector.

North Star chief executive Matthew Gordon (pictured) said: "Attracting project finance from such a well-respected, global investor demonstrates the confidence in our capabilities to deliver and operate our new SOVs which have been a transformational step for the company in terms of our energy transition.

"Our new, unique SOV design has kick started this very exciting new chapter for the business in renewables and we plan to continue building on this momentum."

The first of North Star’s new SOVs will be delivered to the Dogger Bank O&M base in the Port of Tyne in Summer 2023.

All three vessels have ten-year firm charters on the projects, plus options to extend.

North Star chief strategy officer Fraser Dobbie said: "With the first trio of our SOVs being built and leased out for a decade, we are in a very strong position to expand our fleet and realise our full potential in this area.

"We have the capabilities to rapidly scale up our teams in Aberdeen, Lowestoft and Newcastle to oversee future SOV and daughter craft newbuilds."

AllianzGI said the financing package represents 100% of the debt funding that will go towards the newbuilds.

"[The] capital will support North Star’s transition from predominantly servicing the oil and gas industry to servicing renewable energy generation," said Marie Madelin, who led the execution of the investment for AllianzGI.

"This investment adds to our growing portfolio of renewable energy and energy transition enabling infrastructure assets."