Norwegian-based Awind has secured a charter contract for its first “walk-to-work” Commissioning Service Operation Vessel (CSOV) at the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the UK.

The contract at what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm will start in the second quarter of 2023. 

Awind, a subsidiary of Awilco affiliate Integrated Wind Solutions AS (IWS), ordered a pair of hybrid-electric commissioning, service, and operations vessels (CSOV) from China Merchants Industry in Hong Kong, in March.

Announcing the contract Wednesday, Awind said the deal would be a key enabler for efficient commissioning of the 13MW GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X turbines on the first two phases of the development, Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, until completion in 2025.

Christopher A. Heidenreich, Managing Director of Awind (IWS Fleet) said: “We are extremely pleased that Dogger Bank Wind Farm has chosen Awind to support its turbine commissioning at the world’s largest offshore wind farm. This demonstrates the attractiveness of these highly capable “walk-to-work” vessels, which will be equipped to handle a variety of tasks required to support offshore wind farms during the installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance phase”.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said: “Signing this contract with Awind for the “walk-to-work” vessel is another important milestone for the project. The vessel will play an important role in the safe commissioning of the turbines in the construction of the first two phases.”

Awind’s vessels will be equipped for zero-emission operations by battery-biased plug-in hybrid solution and will be prepared for continuous zero-emission operations. The vessels will have a 3D motion compensated crane, motion compensated gangway, and will be able to accommodate up to 120 persons.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is located more than 130km off the North East coast of England, where the first two phases were sanctioned in 2020, with the first phase due to start commercial operations from summer 2023.

All three phases of the project will make up the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with an installed capacity of 3.6GW – capable of powering 6 million UK homes.

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%), and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor.

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