Let's talk

New North Star vessel bound for East Anglia THREE windfarm

Posted on 28 May 2024

New North Star vessel bound for East Anglia THREE windfarm

North Star has secured a contract with Siemens Gamesa to build a hybrid service operations vessel (SOV) bound for long-term charter at the East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm development located off the Suffolk coast, England.

This adds an eighth hybrid offshore wind ship to the organisation’s renewables fleet since it expanded into the market two-and-a-half years ago, and another notable benchmark on its strategic journey to add 40 SOVs to the business by 2040.

This latest win in the North Sea means the firm will now support two of the world’s largest windfarms, having already delivered three of four planned SOVs ahead of schedule to the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being operated out of Port of Tyne.

North Star chief operating officer Robert Catchpole, who is based at the firm’s Lowestoft facility, said: “We are thrilled to start a new relationship with Siemens Gamesa, one of the most pioneering and well-respected global OEM wind turbine technology manufacturers.

“This marks our first SOV contract in the southern North Sea, which will be serviced by our talented operational team stationed strategically in the region to provide dedicated support throughout this new long-term partnership. It also presents a wealth of prospects for both our seasoned seafarers and aspiring crew members, while opening up additional opportunities for our local supply chain.

“This achievement not only underscores our commitment to driving operational excellence, but also solidifies our position as a key player in project management, delivering multiple vessels simultaneously.”

The East Anglia THREE wind farm will have a total capacity of 1,400MW, generating green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3 million homes.

Pedro Fernandez, ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia THREE project director said: It’s fantastic to have North Star on board for East Anglia THREE and playing a major role in powering a clean energy future for us all. This is a great example of the opportunities windfarms like ours can create for local supply chains and underlines the East of England’s position as a global centre of excellence for the offshore wind industry. We look forward to seeing the new vessel take shape over the next couple of years and getting to work on the windfarm once commissioned.”

Andrew Viles, Siemens Gamesa’s head of operations for Northern Europe, said: “We are pleased that North Star will be building a new SOV to support the East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm project. This agreement continues to highlight our focus and commitment to providing high-performing and long-term offshore service logistics solutions to our operations and customers.” 

Meanwhile, the construction project for the SOV of VARD 4 19 design has been awarded by North Star to Cochin Shipyard Ltd. A forerunner in India’s shipbuilding and repair industry, the firm is also currently building a tailored SOV to VARD 4 07 design for the business, which will be delivered to EnBW on a decade-long minimum charter to service the He Dreiht wind farm off the coast of Germany.

North Star’s chief technology officer James Bradford added: “Our cutting-edge hybrid SOVs bring unmatched comfort, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability to the forefront of considerations for wind technicians carrying out maintenance scopes in field, ensuring smoother operations and accelerating the world's transition towards cleaner energy solutions.

“We have chosen Cochin Shipyard Ltd to undertake this second SOV newbuild project due to their exceptional track record of delivering high-quality vessels on time and within budget. Their expertise and proven capabilities align perfectly with our vision for advancing sustainable maritime solutions, ensuring that we continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients and contribute positively to a greener future.”

“Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is extremely happy to be chosen again as the preferred partner for North Star and is participating to achieve its goals of North Star in the offshore renewable segment. CSL is committed to build high quality products with focussed interest in sustainable solutions to serve the evolving maritime markets,” said Mr. Madhu Nair, the Chairman and Managing Director of CSL.

The high specification vessel will accommodate up to 60 of its client’s wind technicians as they support maintenance operations across all 95 wind turbines at the East Anglia Hub development. To ensure safe crew transfers, it has a height adjustable motion compensated gangway and also features North Star’s Decision Support system to support zero carbon objectives.

The new SOV is due to be delivered to Siemens Gamesa to commence operations for the East Anglia THREE development in late 2026. The contract will be front run by one of North Star’s two commissioning SOVs, the CSOV Kestrel from April the same year.

The company, which in addition to Lowestoft, has bases in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Hamburg, plans to recruit a further 34 crew for the new SOV.


Issued on behalf of North Star by BIG Partnership.