Port of Tyne has signed an option agreement with Dogger Bank Wind Farm. This successfully concludes the preliminary phase of a state-of-the-art development to build the operations and maintenance (O&M) base of the world’s largest offshore windfarm.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables. The project is being built in three equal phases of 1.2 GW, and Eni will take a 20% stake in the first two phases when transactions are complete in Q1 2021. Equinor will operate the wind farm for its life of up to 35 years and as such will construct the O&M base. Over 200 people will be based there or offshore to ensure the turbines are operating and ready to generate electricity for six million UK homes.
Under the terms of the option agreement contract, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will retain full rights to develop its windfarm O&M facility for a set period, although initial works are expected to commence in early 2021.
Port of Tyne is currently approving construction bids to complete its landlords works, involving the construction of a new access road, improved drainage facilities, enabling works for electricity infrastructure and a quay upgrade. The port will be completing these initial works by July 2021, ready for the full building phase to commence by Q3 of 2021. The construction works, including the new portside facility, will be ready for its offshore service operational vessels (SOVs) when the wind farm operations are scheduled to begin during 2023.
Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor said, “This marks the start of a very exciting journey, both for us, our partners and the Port of Tyne, in preparing the home for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. As the first tenant in the Port’s Tyne Clean Energy Park, we are pleased to contribute towards the Port’s net zero ambition, and we hope that basing such significant infrastructure here will attract investment and catalyse green economic growth in the area.
“Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the UK’s largest single source of renewable electricity and we are proud to drive forward the Government’s ambition to power every home in the country with electricity from offshore wind.”
Matt Beeton, CEO of Port of Tyne said, “As we work towards submitting our world-class freeport coalition bid, this contract signals the completion of a very exciting first step for both Port of Tyne and Equinor. This option agreement represents a catalyst to ignite future development of the port’s nascent renewables cluster and will trigger additional investment in Tyne Dock Enterprise Park as a further development opportunity for related commercial activities.”