North Star Secures Financing for Newbuild Vessel Project
The three service operations vessels are committed under a long-term contract at the Dogger Bank wind farm offshore UK.
North Star Renewables has finalized a £96-million funding package to build three service operations vessels (SOVs) destined for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm under 10-year-plus options commitments. The secured loan from multinational financial services organization Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), supplements North Star’s own balance sheet and equity commitments from its 100% shareholder, Basalt Infrastructure Partners. The deal represents AllianzGI’s first investment in the SOV sector.
North Star’s SOVs are high-performance, sustainable vessels capable of supporting net-zero goals. They provide floating hotel-style accommodation to offshore wind turbine technicians and a centralized logistics hub to travel to and from work each day across a “walk-to-work” gangway, or transfer via a smaller daughter craft vessel. The SOV is also configured to handle cargo and act as a warehouse.
“This investment from AllianzGI is a first for our industry and 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,” said North Star Chief Executive Matthew Gordon.
Once completed, Dogger Bank will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, capable of powering 6 million British homes. It is currently under construction by joint-venture partners Equinor, SSE Renewables, and Eni. The contract with Dogger Bank will create 130 long-term jobs in Scotland and the north east of England during the operations phase of the wind farm.
The first of North Star’s SOVs are scheduled to arrive at Port of Tyne in summer 2023.
North Star Renewables is part of North Star Group, which also comprises North Star Shipping and Boston Offshore Safety Ltd. As well as providing continuous infrastructure support services across more than 50 UK Continental Shelf installations, the group also provides vessel maintenance services.