Danish electricity and offshore wind energy giant DONG Energy has announced it intends to develop the UK’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance hub, which it believes will be a “game changing industry first.”
DONG Energy made the announcement on Thursday, revealing that it intends to invest millions of pounds into the development of a high-tech offshore wind operations and maintenance facility in eastern town of Grimsby. The facility will be built in Grimsby’s Royal Dock, alongside the existing Westermost Rough operation and maintenance facility, and upon initial operation will support work being done at Westermost Rough, Race Bank, and Hornsea Project One. However, DONG Energy is quick to point out that the new hub will also have the capacity to support its other east-coast offshore wind farms, including the rest of the Hornsea project zone.
The hub will be built around the idea of supporting high-tech vessels (as seen to the right), which are capable of accommodating up to 60 crewmembers, while also remaining at sea for extended periods of time as they work on the construction of the offshore wind farms. The Service Operational Vessels, or SOVs, are supplied by Ostensjo Rederi and designed by Rolls-Royce, with the first vessel intended to call Grimsby home expected to arrive late-2017 to support a phased-activation of the hub. The first vessel will be tasked with the operation and maintenance DONG Energy’s 580 MW Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm, currently under construction.
In addition, the Grimsby hub will include a comprehensive marine coordination centre which would be capable of providing 24/7 services to offshore operations across the United Kingdom, and beyond.
“This new operational hub in Grimsby will be a game changing industry first, raising the bar for the way we serve offshore wind farms,” said Brent Cheshire, UK Country Chairman of DONG Energy.
“It will generate direct and indirect job opportunities in the Humber region, as well as opportunities for the local supply chain.
“It represents a massive vote of confidence to the UK offshore wind industry and confirms our commitment to the Humber region where by 2019 we expect to have invested around GBP 6 billion.”