DONG Energy announced plans for a multi-million investment to create the UK’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance hub. Subject to planning approval, the new facility will be developed in the town’s Royal Dock and will initially support Westermost Rough, Race Bank, and Hornsea Project One offshore wind farms. However, it will have the capacity to support other east coast wind farms in DONG Energy’s future development pipeline.
By transforming the way wind farms are supported, the hub will be served by high-tech vessels capable accommodating up to 60 crew and technicians, while remaining at sea for long periods. The hub will also include a comprehensive marine coordination centre capable of providing 24-7 service to offshore operations across the UK 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.”
He added: “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.”
The new hub will sit alongside the existing Westermost Rough operation and maintenance facility, using additional land to be leased from Associated British Ports.
State-of-the-art service operational vessels (SOVs), supplied by Ostensjo Rederi and designed by Rolls-Royce, are being chartered to operate from the new hub. The first vessel will arrive late next year to support a phased activation on the new hub.
The vessel will initially support the O&M of Race Bank, DONG Energy’s 580-MW offshore wind farm currently under construction 17 miles off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coastlines.