Equinor and SSE Renewables, the companies behind the development of what will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm, have announced plans to build an operations and maintenance base at Port of Tyne
Equinor will construct the O&M base for the Dogger Bank windfarm, a 50/50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE. The project is due to be developed in three 1.2-GW phases.
The new facility at Port of Tyne, which will include warehouse and office space, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s team. Overall, Dogger Bank is expected to trigger capital investment of approximately £9Bn (US11Bn) between 2020 and 2026.
Equinor said recruitment activity will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023. The company said it is also committed to engaging with the UK supply chain, to ensure UK companies have the chance to get involved, whether it be directly or through one of the project’s tier one and tier two suppliers.
UK Secretary of State for Business Alok Sharma said, “This facility is fantastic news for Tyneside and the northeast of England. Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs. Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Equinor senior vice president for North Sea new energy solutions said, “The UK Government has legislated to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Major renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank ensures Britain’s leadership as the number one offshore wind nation. The project also brings new investment to the UK at a challenging time for us all and secures more than 200 jobs in the region.
“The northeast has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future, Port of Tyne is well set up to attract future investment that will complement our activities.”
SSE Renewables director of capital projects Paul Cooley said the O&M base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the area during construction and throughout the project’s lifetime.
Port of Tyne chief executive Matt Beeton said, “This is clearly a very important milestone in attracting such leading names in offshore power generation to the port but it’s also extremely important for the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment opportunities.
“The Port recently launched its Tyne 2050 plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030. Offshore wind is a key component of that strategy and this announcement is a huge step towards developing a cleaner future for the port, the region and for industry in the northeast.”
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