May 13, 2020
Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the world’s biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, have today announced plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base at the Port of Tyne.
• Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs
• Multi-million GBP Operations and Maintenance base to be constructed at Port of Tyne
• Further strengthens Port of Tyne positioning to become low-carbon industrial hub
• Facility will bring hundreds of jobs and supply chain opportunities to the North East
Construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020 and as operator for the operations phase, Equinor will construct this new O&M base, and operate the wind farm for its expected life of more than 25 years.
The overall wind farm comprises three 1.2GW phases, with each phase located more than 130km from the North East coast of England. When fully operational it will be able to provide enough renewable electricity for over 4.5 million UK homes.
The new multi-million pound facility, which includes both office space and a warehouse, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s teams ensuring the efficient operation of the wind farm. The flagship project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain. The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is estimated to trigger a total capital investment of approximately GBP 9 billion between 2020 and 2026.
Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma commented: “This new facility is fantastic news for Tyneside and the North East of England. Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs. “Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Stephen Bull, Senior Vice President for Equinor’s North Sea New Energy Solutions, and Chair of Renewable UK, said: “The UK government has legislated to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Major scale renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank ensures Britain’s leadership as the #1 offshore wind nation. Moreover, the project brings new investment to the UK, at a challenging time for us all, and secures over 200 jobs in the region as well as new opportunities in a future-fit growth sector.
“The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.
“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.” Paul Cooley, SSE Renewables Director of Capital Projects, said: “The announcement today cements SSE Renewables’ and Equinor’s commitment to developing long term jobs and economic benefit in the UK and we are very pleased to welcome the Port of Tyne to the project.
“The Operations and Maintenance base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the local area during construction and throughout the projects lifetime, as we have seen on our previous offshore wind projects including Beatrice.
“Dogger Bank will help drive the transition to a net zero future and we are continuing our work to construct the largest offshore wind farm in the world safely.”
Port of Tyne. Image by Equinor.
Matt Beeton, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Tyne said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected by Equinor and SSE Renewables as the port of choice to house the Operations and Maintenance base for the largest offshore wind farm in the world. This is clearly a very important milestone in attracting such leading names in offshore power generation to the Port but it’s also extremely important for the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment opportunities.
“The Port recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030. Offshore wind is a key component of that strategy and this announcement is a huge step towards developing a cleaner future for the Port, the region and for industry in the North East.
“We’re very excited to start working with Equinor and SSE Renewables to make this base a success and we’re looking forward to playing our part in the world’s largest offshore wind farm.”
The jobs required to operate an offshore wind farm include maintenance technician roles, that will predominately be based offshore, as well as office-based teams to support the operations from land. The main recruitment activity will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023.
The project is also committed to engaging with the UK supply chain, to ensure that UK companies have the chance to get involved, whether it be directly or through one of the project’s Tier One and Two suppliers. An online procurement portal has been established and meet the buyer events will be held in due course, to encourage UK companies to get involved.
Port of Tyne. Image by Equinor.
About Dogger Bank Wind Farm:
• A 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables
• Final investment decision on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B will be made in late 2020 with FID for Dogger Bank C being made in 2021
• Consent was granted in 2015.
• Located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.
• Each phase of the project (Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C) will have an installed capacity of 1.2GW and will be able to power 1.5 million homes. Together, they can provide approximately 5% of the UK’s estimated electricity generation.
• The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023.
• The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations. Preferred supplier will for foundation fabrication will be announced in 2020.
• The transmission system will be High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) due to long distance to grid connection point.
About Equinor in the UK
Equinor has been operating in the UK for over 35 years. Headquartered in Norway, the company employs 22,000 people globally, and over 650 in the UK. As a broad energy company, Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future, and targeting carbon neutral operations globally by 2030.
Equinor is the UK’s leading energy provider and supports the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, working with over 700 suppliers across the country. Its energy supplies from Norway meet more than one quarter of the UK’s demand for natural gas and around one fifth of its demand for oil, both produced with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. It operates the Mariner oil field, one of the largest and most digitally advanced offshore investments in the UK over the last decade, and is progressing Rosebank, the largest undeveloped field in the UK. Both projects support hundreds of jobs and economic activity in Scotland.
Equinor also operates two offshore wind farms off the East Coast of England, Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal. It is a pioneer in floating wind technology with Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, which is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind. And with its partner SSE Renewables, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England. It is also a leader in both carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, and is developing a number of projects in Europe, including in the Humber and Teesside regions of North East England.
About SSE Renewables
SSE Renewables is a leading developer, operator and owner of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland, with a portfolio of around 4GW of onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro. Part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, its strategy is to drive the transition to a net zero future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets.
SSE Renewables owns nearly 2GW of operational onshore wind capacity with over 1GW under development. Its 1,450MW hydro portfolio includes 300MW of pumped storage and 750MW of flexible hydro. Its operational offshore wind portfolio consists of 580MW across three offshore sites, two of which it operates on behalf of its joint venture partners.
SSE Renewables has the largest offshore wind development pipeline in the UK and Ireland at over 7GW and has an onshore wind pipeline across both markets in excess of 1GW.
About the Port of Tyne
Port of Tyne is one of the UK's major deep-sea ports – operating in offshore, bulks, break bulk, rail-freight, automotive, cruise and ferry, logistics and estates.
One of the UK’s largest Trust Port’s and entirely self-financing, the Port receives no Government funding, is run on a commercial basis and reinvests all profits back into the Port for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.
The Port is the custodian of seventeen miles of the River Tyne which is home to an existing offshore cluster with partner organisations such as the UK renowned South Tyneside Marine College, A&P, Smulders and Shepherds, contributing to a well-established offshore energy supply chain. As one of only two deep sea ports in the North East of England, 83% of the world’s largest cargo ships can be accommodated at the Port of Tyne.
During a decade of development, the Port of Tyne has invested over £130 million in diversifying its operations to handle a growing range of commodities.
Equinor - Press Release