Latest news : Construction

DOGGER BANK C REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

2nd December 2021 in Construction, Press releases, Project news, Uncategorised

Joint venture partners SSE Renewables and Equinor have reached financial close on Dogger Bank Wind Farm C, the third phase of what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete in March 2026.

SSE Renewables and Equinor are already constructing the first two phases of the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm with Eni, joint venture partner on phases A and B of the world-leading offshore wind project to be installed off the north east coast of England. Now, with financial close being reached on the project’s third phase, Dogger Bank Wind Farm has passed the last important milestone ahead of its construction delivery programme.

Total investment in Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be around £9 billion, of which around £3 billion is for phase C including offshore transmission capex in the range of £900-1000m.

Dogger Bank C has a capacity of 1,200MW and will generate around 6TWh. In total, Dogger Bank will produce enough clean, renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, equivalent to powering six million UK homes.

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). On 2 November 2021 SSE and Equinor announced the sell down of a combined 20% share in Dogger Bank C to Eni (10% each) for a total consideration of £140m. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2022, subject to regulatory and lenders approvals and customary purchase price adjustments. Eni will enter the asset effective from completion of the sell down transaction. Once the transaction is complete, the new overall shareholding in Dogger Bank C will be SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). Extended partner alignment will enable further synergies across, both in the construction and operations phase of the Dogger Bank wind farm.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is pioneering new technology and breaking world records in its delivery including green financing records. Financial close on Dogger Bank C has been reached through the financing support of a group of lenders comprising 28 banks and three export credit agencies (ECAs). Taken in aggregate with the financing last year of the A and B phases of the Dogger Bank project, reaching Financial Close on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said: It is a fantastic achievement to be reaching financial close on the third phase of the world’s largest offshore wind project, just weeks after COP26 concluded in Glasgow and today marks an important early milestone in the delivery of our own Net Zero Acceleration Programme. Our plans will enable delivery of over 25% of UK’s 2030 40GW offshore wind target, whilst also expanding overseas, delivering over 20% of upcoming UK electricity networks investment and deploying the critical flexibility technologies to provide security of supply.

“Construction is well underway on the first two phases of Dogger Bank with work on the third phase already progressing and we look forward to this ramping up in the New Year. As well as providing clean, green power, Dogger Bank is enabling the planned GE blade manufacturing plant in Teesside and a huge number of direct and indirect jobs.

Pål Eitrheim, Equinor EVP of New Energy Solutions, said: Reaching financial close on the third phase of Dogger Bank is a significant milestone as it demonstrates that we are on track with developing what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and the confidence in SSE and Equinor as developers. The level of interest achieved reflects the quality of the project and enables strong return on equity. As the wind farm’s future operator, we will leverage our offshore execution capability and continue to deliver value for years to come.”

Dogger Bank C is being project financed with gearing of c.70% for the generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is set at 90% of the forecast OFTO sale proceeds, in line with standard market practice in the sector. Total senior debt facilities is around £2.5 billion plus ancillary facilities of around £435 million.

With the strong interest from lenders, Dogger Bank C was able to secure competitive terms, despite continued impact from the coronavirus pandemic on the macroeconomic environment. The final group of lenders includes experienced lenders, many of which are relationship lenders of both SSE and Equinor. The majority of lenders are the same as for the financing of Dogger Bank A and B, reached in November 2020.  A list of Dogger Bank C lenders, ECA and Advisors is available to download here.

SSE Renewables is leading on the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years.

About Dogger Bank Wind Farm

Dogger Bank Wind Farm was awarded exclusive development rights in 2010 by The Crown Estate as part of its third seabed licensing round. The project secured planning consent in 2015. In September 2019, Dogger Bank Wind Farm secured the following 15-year contracts with the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) through the UK Government’s Contract for Difference (CfD) auction:

  • Dogger Bank A (1,200MW) with a strike price of £39.65/MWh (in 2012 prices, CPI-indexed) for delivery in 2023/24.
  • Dogger Bank B and C (1,200MW each) with strike prices of £41.61/MWh (in 2012 prices, CPI-indexed) for delivery in 2024/25.

Onshore cable installation civils works for Dogger Bank C will start in Q1 2022; construction of the onshore convertor station will commence in Q2 2022. Offshore export cable installation will commence in Q1 2024; Offshore platform installation will commence in Q2, 2024; foundation installation will commence in Q3, 2024; Turbine installation will commence in Q2, 2025. First power is anticipated in Q3, 2025 and full power in Q1, 2026.

Onshore construction is currently underway for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with offshore construction on Dogger Bank A due to begin in Q2 2022. First power is expected in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024 for Dogger Bank A and B, respectively, with commercial operations to follow around six months later.

Ryder Geotechnical providing local expertise to Dogger Bank

16th November 2021 in Construction, Press releases, Project news, Supply Chain

The world’s largest offshore wind farm is once again benefiting from supply chain expertise in the north-east of England as it continues site preparation work for the installation of turbines in the North Sea.

Working in collaboration with Global Maritime, Newcastle-based Ryder Geotechnical, a Tekmar Group company, delivered a site-specific assessment in preparation for the installation of 190 turbines for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The wind farm is being built in three phases; Dogger Bank A, B and C, and when complete will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity. The project will use the world’s first Ultra-Low emissions jack-up vessel to install turbines 130km out to sea, off the North East coast of England.

Turbines are installed by a jack-up vessel, a ship that extends legs down to the seabed and lifts itself up to provide a stable platform to perform installation from. Ryder’s role in this project was to assess the geological conditions above and below the seabed surface at both sites and provide geotechnical information ahead of the jack-up operations. The geotechnical information is used to advise on the seabed load bearing and other parameters needed for installation.

Steven Metcalfe, lead engineer on the project from Ryder said “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The site was particularly complex geologically due to soft clay layers sandwiched between firmer sand layers, but working closely with Global Maritime we were able to fully assess these holistically, and develop solutions for the safest operations.”

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). In November 2021 SSE Renewables and Equinor, 50:50 joint venture partners in Dogger Bank C, announced Eni will take a 20% stake in the final phase, with SSE Renewables and Equinor maintaining 40% stakes each, in a deal that is expected to complete in Q1 2022 (subject to Dogger Bank C Financial Close and regulatory approvals).

SSE Renewables is leading on the construction of the wind farm and Equinor will operate the wind farm for its expected lifetime of 35 years.

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor said: “This site-specific assessment carried out by Ryder Geotechnical is essential for us to confirm the turbine fixing requirements ahead of construction and to understand any geotechnical risk to jack-up operations, ensuring safe installation offshore. It’s another great example of UK expertise helping us to deliver the wind farm safely and efficiently as we prepare for offshore installation to commence in 2022.”

Cable installation begins on first phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm

9th July 2021 in Construction, Press releases, Project news

Work has begun in East of Riding of Yorkshire to install 80 miles of cables for the first two phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank A and B.

This major onshore milestone will involve the installation of 3,362 tonnes of cables from the landfall site at Ulrome to the onshore convertor station site near Beverley. The cables, which have a combined weight heavier than Wimbledon’s iconic Centre Court roof, will be installed by North Wales-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering.

Bristol-based high voltage engineering specialists Power Systems will support the Jones Bros team during the installation of the cables.

Jones Bros project manager James Lockwood said:

“The arrival of the cable drums marks a significant point in our works on the grid connection and land-based infrastructure.

“The site team have done a fantastic job over the past four months to allow for deliveries of the cables to start on time and on programme.

“The 80 miles of cabling will be used along a 20 mile route to help connect the offshore wind farm to the National Grid, and we remain committed to minimising disruption in the local area as we carry out this work.” 

Onshore project manager for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, Oliver Flattery, said: 

“The Jones Bros team has worked hard since the start of 2020 to safely and efficiently prepare the ground in East Riding, in readiness for more than 3,000 tonnes of cables to be installed from July onwards. 

“We thank local residents and businesses for their patience over the last 18 months, and continue to focus on operating safely and with minimal disruption as we progress our work with the installation of the cables that will transmit renewable energy to millions of UK homes.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is to be built more than 130km off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea, is currently being developed in three 1.2GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.

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

Tees Valley Mayor and Redcar MP mark start of site preparation work for Dogger Bank C

8th July 2021 in Construction, Press releases, Project news

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Redcar MP Jacob Young signalled the start of site preparation work for the third phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm this week.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has been appointed to deliver the enabling works package for the onshore convertor station platforms for both Dogger Bank C and RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, near Redcar, Teesside

The two neighbouring wind farm projects are working together in an innovative way to ensure minimal disruption to businesses and communities on Teesside.

The Mayor and MP joined management representatives from both projects plus from landowner Sembcorp Energy UK at the site of the onshore converter stations, adjacent to Wilton International, to officially kick-off the work and have an early tour of the site.

The Jones Bros works will include providing a level load-bearing stone platform for the converter stations; two new accesses to the site with associated bellmouths; welfare and laydown areas; drainage system, and associated utilities.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is currently being developed in three 1.2GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C. Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40 per cent), Equinor (40 per cent) and Eni (20 per cent), while Dogger Bank C is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor.

Dogger Bank A and B will connect to the National Grid near Beverley in East Riding of Yorkshire, while Dogger Bank C will connect to the National Grid at Lackenby, on Teesside.

North Wales-based Jones Bros started work on the land-based infrastructure for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm last year, and has recently increased its team to 90 as work starts on the installation of 80 miles of underground cables from Ulrome to the onshore convertor station near Beverley.

On Teesside, between 25 and 30 Jones Bros workers will be on the site at any one time on behalf of Sofia Offshore Wind Farm and Dogger Bank C.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said:

“For generations Teesside has been known the world over for our steel, engineering, and processing skills, now we are leading the way in offshore wind and developing the next generation of fuels, such as hydrogen. Projects like the Sofia and Dogger Bank offshore wind farms are critical if the government is to hit its ambitious target for the UK to be net zero by 2050, and Teesside is playing a key role.

“Today’s ground-breaking is the culmination of hard work, dedication, and commitment by so many people and symbolises a significant step forward on our path to net zero and the thousands of good-quality, well paid jobs the clean energy revolution will create right here in Teesside.”

“As responsible developers working in the same area, we’re committed to ensuring the impact on local businesses and communities is minimal.  We were delighted that Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Andy Koss of Sembcorp Energy UK joined us on-site today to mark the start of this work by UK-based Jones Bros.  The event marks an important milestone for both developments and demonstrates great progress for the future of green energy in the UK.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said:

“As responsible developers working in the same area, we’re committed to ensuring the impact on local businesses and communities is minimal.  We were delighted that Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Andy Koss of Sembcorp Energy UK joined us on-site today to mark the start of this work by UK-based Jones Bros.  The event marks an important milestone for both developments and demonstrates great progress for the future of green energy in the UK.”

Sembcorp Industries CEO UK & Middle East, Andy Koss, said:

“Following the groundworks undertaken by Sembcorp Energy UK, it’s fantastic to see this next stage of the project now underway. Teesside is becoming an important hub for the offshore wind sector, due to its industrial and manufacturing heritage, experienced workforce, and location. We are well equipped and ready to deal with major infrastructure projects such as this, and proud to facilitate sustainable solutions that will help the UK reach its Net Zero target.”

Sofia Project Director Matthew Swanwick said:

“The official start of onshore construction is a culmination of many years of planning and development and testament to a huge effort, so it was a pleasure to be able to welcome Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to site today. But it is also the start of an intense period of activity and we look forward to our continued positive working relationship with Dogger Bank C, Sembcorp Energy UK and all our contractors and stakeholders over the coming years.”

The work to construct both the converter stations will take around four years and is due to be completed in 2025.

UK-based Jones Bros picks up pace with onshore infrastructure

28th May 2021 in Construction, Project news

Civil engineering work is being ramped up on the world’s largest offshore wind farm, as the team prepares for the installation of 80 miles of cable.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has brought in extra teams as it picks up the pace following a winter pause.

The team is currently working on the grid connection and land-based infrastructure for the first two phases of the wind farm, which will connect to the National Grid at the Creyke Beck substation, near Beverley, East Yorkshire.

With 70 representatives now on site, the North-Wales headquartered company will install 80 miles of cable along the East Riding of Yorkshire cable route, with the first cable deliveries due in the Summer.

James Lockwood, Jones Bros project m:anager, said:

“It’s really pleasing to be able to ramp up the pace now we’ve brought the second trenching team onto the site.

“Horizontal directional drilling has also resumed on the parts of the site where trench digging isn’t possible because of obstacles like roads or watercourses along with pre-construction land drainage, and construction of the of the remaining internal site access tracks

“Over winter, the focus has been on maintenance and creating site access roads. We had a scheduled break due to the prevailing conditions, but all eyes are now on moving the project forward with further installation of electrical ducts, construction of the joint bays, and preparing for the delivery of the high voltage cables.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being developed in three 1.2GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.

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

Onshore Project Manager for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, Oliver Flattery, said:

“Despite the challenges thrown up by the global pandemic, the project remains on track and I’m pleased to say we’ve been able to achieve our first major milestones safely, and on time. The safety of our communities and those working on our sites remains of paramount importance to us as we pick up pace in 2021, and start installing the cables that will provide renewable energy for UK households.”