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North Star has been awarded a raft of new contracts totalling more than £100 million to support new and existing clients in the UK Continental Shelf with its fast-response emergency fleet, purpose built to protect personnel working on offshore oil and gas platforms.
These significant new wins are a combination of new clients and new asset locations, as well as continuations secured with operators the 135-year-old maritime company has worked with since the 1980s. With additional year charter options, this marks North Star’s most sizeable emergency response rescue vessel (ERRV) order book in recent years
The company is the North Sea’s largest emergency response vessel operator with 41 ERRVs in its overarching fleet which are currently assigned to support 50 offshore oil and gas installations in the region, delivering reliable, uninterrupted, around the clock assistance, 365 days a year.
With strategic locations in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft, the business employs 1,400 personnel across the UK, including 140 deck and engineering cadets enrolled in its three-year training programme, now in its 26th year. It is also a key member of the UKCS ERRV Association.
To enhance its ongoing growth, North Star has undertaken an in-depth sustainability study across its existing 47-strong offshore infrastructure support vessel fleet to help decarbonise its tonnage, enhance operational performance, and meet its net zero 2040 target. It has also invested a six-figure sum in the fleet management software tool Sertica as part of its digitisation strategy to streamline the business and support further efficiencies.
Matthew Gordon, North Star CEO said: “Winning these significant ERRV contracts worth £100 million demonstrates the industry’s ongoing confidence in our highly effective and reliable fleet which continues to provide a safe place in case of an incident for the thousands of people working out at sea on oil and gas assets every hour of every day, solidly across the year.
“North Star has supported the offshore energy sector for the past 40 years and we have an unrivalled expertise and high quality ERRV fleet. I’m proud to say that we have never left any client’s offshore workforce unsupported, ensuring there is always a vessel on standby to enable any crew changes, help to replenish stores on the installation, or support regular maintenance.
“The North Sea is still a very competitive landscape, and we recognise the need for continual investment in our fleet and services to ensure we deliver value and efficiencies to remain market leading. As part of this, we have looked to optimise our operations with a new maritime fleet management system and begun the process of decarbonising our entire fleet.”
Last year, North Star entered the UK’s offshore wind market and quickly established itself as the leading provider of service operation vessels (SOVs) which are used to transport technicians to offshore windfarms and accommodate them for extended periods of time.
The firm also announced its new owners, leading global private markets firm Partners Group (acting on behalf of its clients), and set out its ambitions to transform the business into a leading pan-European next generation offshore wind infrastructure services business.
Mr Gordon added: “The offshore wind sector is on an upwards trajectory across Europe, and we are in a very strong position to capitalise on our growing momentum to secure further new business in this sector. At the same time, we remain focused on ensuring we deliver the same high standard of services and support our North Sea operator clients are accustomed to.”