Norway’s Vard has secured contracts to design and construct three service operation vessels (SOVs) for North Star Renewables
The trio of hybrid SOVs will operate on the Dogger Bank offshore windfarm in the North Sea. North Star has ordered one Vard 4 19 design and two Vard 4 12 vessels.
The SOVs were developed by Vard in close co-operation with Aberdeen-based North Star, which has secured 10-year charter contracts for the trio from Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
The charters include options for three one-year extensions. Dogger Bank is currently under construction by joint-venture partners SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni and when completed, will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm.
North Star Renewables chief executive Matthew Gordon said, “We worked closely with the team at Vard for more than two years on the development of our SOVs for Dogger Bank.
“I’m delighted to be able to say that the work which went into designing the vessels to meet the optimal standards of workability, comfort, safety and sustainability has resulted in us securing the award of three vessels on long-term charters.
“This is a huge step for North Star on our journey to becoming a leading player in the SOV market. It’s exciting that these designs will now move into the construction phase. Continuing that journey with Vard is a natural extension of our strong relationship.” North Star is best known as an owner/operator of platform supply vessels and emergency response ships for the offshore oil and gas sector.
Vard’s Thomas Brathaug and Stian Ona, who were closely involved in the design of the SOVs, said, “The Vard 4 19 design was developed specifically to handle planned maintenance on Dogger Bank A and B.
“The 85-m vessel has a beam of 19 m and will be able to accommodate 78 crew members in single cabins. It is tailored for operations in the harsh North Sea environment more than 130 km off the northeast coast of England. Crew well-being is vital to ensure safe and efficient operations, so safety and comfort were a strong focus throughout the process.
“The vessel’s environmental footprint and operability, hybrid battery solution and the fact they are prepared for carbon-neutral operations in the future really pushes the envelope for this kind of specialised vessel.
“All of the vessels have a height-adjustable, motion-compensated gangway with elevator, a height-adjustable boat transfer system, and a 3D motion-compensated crane for cargo transfer.”
Developed to undertake corrective maintenance on Dogger Bank, the Vard 4 12s will be 78 m in length with a beam of 19 m and will have accommodation for 60 people in single cabins.
For optimal efficiency, the hybrid vessels will be equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system, highly efficient main propellers, and tunnel thrusters with permanent magnet electric motors in combination with SeaQ solutions supplied by Vard Electro in Norway.
They will have a SeaQ ESS solution in combination with SeaQ IAS, SeaQ PMS, SeaQ EMS, and SeaQ Green Pilot energy monitoring system for improved operational performance and reduced environmental footprint. The set-up makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, in addition to enhancing responsiveness and safety.
The three SOVs are set for handover to North Star in 2023. They will be built at Vard’s Vung Tau shipyard in Vietnam.
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