December 10, 2020

Aeolus - Credit: Van Oord

Aeolus – Credit: Van Oord

Dutch offshore installation services company Van Oord has won a contract to deliver and install monopile foundations and array cables at RWE’s giant Sofia offshore wind farm in the UK.

The 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind project is located is sited on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometers from the North East coast, where Van Oord, through its UK branch MPI Offshore, will create a logistics hub to deliver the comprehensive scope of work. 

Van Oord will use its offshore installation vessel Aeolus to install the 100 extended monopile foundations without transition pieces, while the 350 kilometers of array cables will be installed by cable-laying vessel Nexus. Van Oord will sub-contract the fabrication of the foundations and array cables.  The company did not share the financial details of the contract.

Sven Utermöhlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables said: ‘On Dogger Bank, we are realizing one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms. Van Oord is a well-known partner to us, with Sofia the fifth and largest UK offshore wind farm that we have worked on together. This gives us a wealth of experience to draw on as we progress the project through its construction phase. 

“Sofia is a flagship for RWE Renewables in terms of technology and innovation, and for the UK through regional supply chain opportunities and as a major contributor to the nation’s net-zero ambitions.” Nexus cable layer – Credit: Van Oord

Pieter van Oord, CEO of Van Oord said: ‘We are extremely proud to be working together with RWE Renewables as the EPCI contractor for the permanent works of the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm. By contributing to the realization of one of world’s largest offshore wind farms, Van Oord is again at the forefront of projects that contribute to the transition to renewable energy. Sofia will make a major contribution to the UK’s climate goals. The project will be executed by MPI Offshore from our Stokesley office in Teesside and will deliver excellent opportunities for the local supply chain and labor market and to support the industry’s UK Sector Deal ambitions.”

Onshore construction will underway at Sofia’s converter station site in Teesside early next year. Work on the foundation and array package is set to begin after the project’s financial investment decision in Q1 2021, with installation scheduled for 2024.

With the Van Oord foundation and array cable contract, the main packages have been completed for Sofia with preferred supplier agreements already in place with Prysmian Group for the project’s HVDC export cable; a consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for its HVDC transmission system, and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, set to supply the wind farm with its most advanced 14 Megawatts (MW) offshore wind turbines.

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