Latest news : Operations

UK shipbuilder Alicat chosen to build Dogger Bank daughter craft fleet

30th September 2021 in Operations, Press releases, Project news, Supply Chain

Great Yarmouth-based marine and engineering specialist Alicat has won a multi-million-pound contract with North Star Renewables to build low-carbon vessels destined for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, 130km off England’s North East coast.

Following a competitive tender involving multiple UK shipyards, Alicat has been awarded North Star’s initial contract to bring its first two hybrid-powered daughter craft to the renewables market. The vessels, which boast low carbon emission potential, will utilise the game changing combination of diesel and electric outboards, a world first for this form of workboat.

Designed by Southampton-based naval architects Chartwell Marine in collaboration with North Star, the daughter craft will be used to safely transfer technicians from their accommodation onboard North Star’s service offshore vessels (SOVs), to work on the offshore wind turbines at Dogger Bank A and B. Dogger Bank A and B are a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (50%) and Equinor (50%). SSE renewables is leading on the construction of the wind farm and Equinor will operate the wind farm for its lifetime of up to 35 years.

Once the third phase is completed and operational, it will become the biggest offshore wind farm ever built and able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity.

With bases in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft, North Star has the world’s largest daughter rescue fleet and has been servicing the North Sea’s oil and gas sector for more than 40 years. It currently has 63 daughter craft within the existing fleet, managed and maintained by the two Rescue Boat divisions in Aberdeen and Lowestoft. North Star group includes 1,400 employees servicing more than 60 locations and mobile installations in the UK Continental Shelf.

The new hybrid propulsion daughter crafts include stabiliser technology ensuring the vessels will not only deliver reduced carbon emissions, but provide class leading comfort for the technicians on board whilst setting a new standard for safe operations. It has an increased sea state operability and safe transfer, tank tested at wave heights of up to 1.7m Hs – significantly higher than any alternative wind farm daughter craft.

The first daughter craft is being delivered 12 months ahead of schedule, under the build supervision locally of North Star Group’s Boston Putford division in Lowestoft. This will allow time for performance analysis and improvements, crew training and additional development ahead of the first of three SOVs arriving from summer 2023.

North Star chief operating officer and Boston Putford MD Robert Catchpole said:

“We are very excited to announce Alicat as the chosen shipbuilder for our first next generation and new breed of sustainable, reliable, comfortable daughter craft fleet, configured specifically for the renewables sector. Alicat is a leader in its field and demonstrated the comprehensive technical knowledge as well as great craftsmanship and the project management skills required to deliver the first of our new fleet. We also have great confidence in their capabilities after they satisfied all the financial, commercial and QHSE criteria set out in the contract.

“We are very fortunate to have talented companies like Alicat on our doorstep in East Anglia and working with them aligns to our strategy of utilising UK businesses whenever possible to strengthen our services in our ambitions as the market leader in marine offshore wind infrastructure support in the UK, and abroad.”

Alicat director Simon Coote, said:

“This multi-million-pound contract is a significant win for our business as it further establishes us on the renewables map as the first company in the world to build hybrid powered daughter craft, which is also the first offshore wind daughter craft to be built in the UK.

“Our involvement in testing and knowledge of the new breed of outboard propulsion packages has a significant role to play in the build of these innovative vessels.

“This is a great achievement for all the parties involved as well as for the local boatbuilding industry and supply chain which will support ongoing employment and open further opportunities for local employment and apprenticeships.”

Luca Daniele, marine and logistic leader at Equinor, said:

“It’s great to see the impact Dogger Bank is having on the UK supply chain, and to see innovative companies like Alicat benefit from building the world’s largest offshore wind farm here. Innovation and sustainability are key areas of focus for the project and we are delighted the award of this contract demonstrates both.”


Aberdeen’s North Star Renewables to design and deliver service vessel fleet for Dogger Bank Wind Farm

17th March 2021 in Press releasesProject newsSupply Chain

Leading Aberdeen company North Star Renewables was awarded contracts worth an estimated £270 million in March to deliver three state-of-the-art service operation vessels to be used on Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

North Star will be commencing a recruitment programme for new seafarers in the next six months. The firm is looking to hire around 130 onshore and offshore personnel from across the UK to support the Dogger Bank project.

Media contact – Dogger Bank Wind Farm:

Rachel Lawrence, SSE Renewables

+44 (0) 7385 368783

Media contact – North Star Renewables:

Pam Wilson, BIG Partnership

+44 (0) 07772 287 588


World’s largest offshore wind farm announces appointment of Operations Director and Operations Leader

28th September 2021 in Operations, Press releases, Project news

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is pleased to announce appointments of two senior positions that will play a crucial role in keeping operations running at the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

Mark Halliday has joined Equinor as Operations Director for the project and will be responsible for overall operations across the three phases of the wind farm. Mark has a long history and track record in the renewable energy industry including project and operational roles in both onshore and offshore wind.

Mark joins the project from EDF Renewables where he was Offshore Operations Manager and worked most recently on the NnG project in Scotland. Whilst at EDF Renewables, Mark also played a key role in delivering Teesside Offshore Wind Farm and Blyth Offshore Wind Farm Demonstrator projects, both in North East England.

Mark Halliday joins Equinor as Operations Director for Dogger Bank

Mark said: “I am delighted to join the Dogger Bank team and lead the operations phase of this pioneering project. That the world’s largest offshore wind farm is being built off the coast of North East England is a fantastic opportunity for the area and being from the region it’s great to see South Shields has been selected as the location for the O&M base. It’s a proud moment for me to take on this prestigious role and help build up local capabilities in offshore wind.”

Felicity Wann has been appointed as Dogger Bank Operations Leader, responsible for the engineers managing the day-to-day operations of the 3.6GW wind farm. Felicity has a strong background in offshore operations having worked at Equinor for around seven years in roles across health and safety, emergency response and services and logistics at the company’s Mariner Field, off the Aberdeen Coast.

Felicity Wann has transferred from a role at Equinor’s Mariner Field to be Operations Leader at Dogger Bank

Felicity said: “It’s a real honour to be part of such an important project, and I’m excited to get started. Securing this role demonstrates that skills and expertise gained from working in oil and gas can be transferred across to roles in the renewables industry, a really important message to convey as we will need thousands of people to deliver on the Government’s net zero and renewables targets. My parents are from South Shields so it’s great to be returning to an area I know well and I look forward to building up a strong team here to deliver a world-class project.”

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said: “These are exciting positions which present the opportunity to shape the strategic operational direction for Dogger Bank and define sector-leading performance at the world’s largest wind farm. We want Dogger Bank to be a flagship digitalisation project, pioneering best in class across the sector and we are delighted to have both Mark and Felicity onboard to achieve this.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located over 130km from the North East coast of England, and will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs. The wind farm is being constructed by SSE Renewables in three 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, B and C, and will be operated by Equinor from a new, sustainable base to be constructed at the Port of Tyne.

Onshore construction is well underway and offshore construction is due to begin in 2022.  Whilst operations won’t commence until 2023, Dogger Bank Wind Farm has brought in these key operational roles from an early stage to work closely with the Prepare for Operations team and ensure the right people, procedures and processes are in place to deliver a project of this size.

Over 200 people will be directly employed on the project, with roles ranging from offshore technicians to engineers, planners and warehouse staff. Recruitment of some roles has begun however most roles will be open for application from 2022. These jobs will be advertised on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm website as well as Equinor’s careers pages and social media.

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

Dogger Bank Wind Farm announces “Net Zero Carbon” operations and maintenance base

14th September 2021 in Operations, Press releases, Project news, Supply Chain

Dogger Bank Wind Farm has today revealed that its new operations and maintenance (O&M) base will be constructed and operated in line with the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework to ensure transparent and robust reporting of its sustainability credentials.

The facility, to be located at the Port of Tyne, will support what will become the biggest offshore wind farm in the world upon completion. Construction of the base is expected to start in Q3 2021 and end in Q3 2022, ahead of wind farm operations starting in 2023. Around 200 people will be based there or offshore to operate and maintain the wind farm, which will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity.

The O&M base has been designed by international design practice, Ryder Architecture, headquartered in Newcastle.  The construction project is being managed by Equinor, which has contracted global real estate advisor CBRE as the local Project Manager, and Bowmer + Kirkland (B+K) as the Principal Contractor for the facility.

B+K will manage the work from their offices in Sunderland, close to the Port of Tyne where the base will be located.

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said “With the capability to generate electricity for millions of homes, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being built on a scale never been seen before in offshore wind. The project will make a real contribution to decarbonising our electricity system, and help the UK meet its net zero targets.

“The sustainable ethos of the project runs right through to operations. We are delighted that we will work with CBRE and Bowmer + Kirkland on this innovative building, that has been designed by Ryder with sustainability at the forefront. This modern and attractive facility will support over 200 people working directly on Dogger Bank, and be a proud base at the heart of the North East for teams working on the world’s largest offshore wind farm.”

The 3407m2 base will use low carbon materials and will meet the highest energy efficiency classifications. Solar PV panels will be installed for onsite renewable generation, and EV charging points will be available so staff and visitors can travel there in low emissions vehicles, further reducing the wider impact.

In the UK, the industry recognised framework for verifying the Net Zero Carbon (NZC) performance of the built environment, both during construction and operational phases, is provided by the UK Green building council (UKGBC). There are two strands to this framework, principles for NZC construction and principles to be applied for operational NZC; both of which will be applied to the base. CBRE will work closely with the project team to apply industry recognised approaches to material selection, operational energy modelling and carbon accounting, submitting a final evidence pack for third party review.

To demonstrate commitment to NZC and to drive down the cradle to practical completion embodied carbon, the project has set an internal carbon price (ICP) for the facility aligned with industry best practice. Consideration of this ICP rate alongside the market cost of associated materials has allowed the design team to make a financial case for selecting materials with best in class environmental performance. CBRE is overseeing the Project and Cost Management for the project.   In addition, CBRE is providing Mechanical and Electrical Design, Sustainability and Environmental Consultancy.

Mark Little, Head of Scotland, Project Management and Building Consultancy at CBRE, said “We are incredibly excited and honoured to deliver this project on behalf of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.  The design and construction methods to be used are at the forefront of sustainable development, maximising the use of local skills and materials in and around the North East.”

Bowmer + Kirkland has been appointed to perform detailed design and build the facility, including office space, a large warehouse to store spare parts, car parking and HGV yard as well as an outside recreational area.

Liz Wilson, B+K Project Manager said: “The Bowmer + Kirkland North East & Scotland region is immensely proud to be representing Dogger Bank for this new development that will attract some of the region’s leading professionals. It is fantastic that we have been successful in our bid for this high profile project and that we are able to provide support and sustainability to our region and local supply chain especially after the last 18 months.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Director, Steve Wilson, said: “With its low carbon materials, solar panels and EV charging points, we hope this locally-designed base will help inspire future developers as the UK continues on its journey to net zero. Once again Dogger Bank Wind Farm has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible to drive positive improvements in low carbon development.”

Dogger Bank wind farm will be located more than 130km out to sea, off the North East coast of England, and when complete will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity.

The project has already announced it will use the world’s first Ultra-Low emissions jack-up vessel to install its ground-breaking turbines, the most powerful in the world, and the Service Operations Vessels used during operations will be fitted with a hybrid battery system to reduce emissions even further.

Recruitment will ramp up in 2022, as the project looks to fill roles including wind farm technicians, health and safety professionals, project planners and engineers. It is expected that the activity from a world-leading project as large as Dogger Bank will attract supply chain companies to the area, and companies in the North East are already feeling the ripple effects.

Dogger Bank wind farm is being built in three phases, Dogger Bank A, B and C. Dogger Bank A and B are a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (50%) and Equinor (50%). SSE renewables is leading on the construction of the wind farm and Equinor will operate the wind farm for its lifetime of up to 35 years.


About Equinor in the North East 

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.

With its partners SSE Renewables and Eni, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England. Equinor will lead the Operations phase of the wind farm, and around 200 new roles will be created to operate and maintain the wind farm, from a state-of-the-art base that will be constructed at the Port of Tyne.

Equinor is working closely with the North East Offshore Wind Cluster Energi Coast and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to advance the offshore wind industry in the region. This includes supporting the Technology, Innovation & Green Growth for Offshore Renewables (TIGGOR) programme designed to boost supply chain growth and productivity for companies in the North East.

Equinor is also a leader in carbon capture utilisation & storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, and is developing a number of projects in the UK, including in the Humber and Teesside regions of North East England. It is developing the H2H Saltend low-carbon hydrogen production plant that is at the heart of the Zero Carbon Humber alliance and collaborating with SSE Thermal on low-carbon power projects using hydrogen and carbon capture in the Humber. It is also partnering in the Net Zero Teesside power project and, as part of the Northern Endurance Partnership, it is developing CO2 transport and storage infrastructure for the Humber and Teesside.

Find out more at

About SSE Renewables

SSE Renewables is a leading developer, owner and operator 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 is leading construction of more offshore wind energy than any other company in the world right now. It is currently constructing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea, a joint venture with Equinor and Eni, as well as Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, the 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm in the Firth of Forth, which is a joint venture with TotalEnergies. It also has the largest offshore wind development pipeline across the UK and Ireland at around 7GW, of which around 1.5GW is already in construction and nearly 800MW is fully consented.

SSE Renewables owns nearly 2GW of operational onshore wind capacity with a development pipeline of over 1GW under development. Its 1,459MW hydro portfolio includes 300MW of pumped storage and 750MW of flexible hydro. Its operational offshore wind portfolio consists of 487MW across two offshore joint venture sites, Beatrice and Greater Gabbard, both of which it operates on behalf of its asset partners.

SSE Renewables parent company SSE plc is a Principal Partner to the UK Government in the run up to and during the COP26 UN climate summit in November 2021.

Bowmer + Kirkland

Established in 1923, Bowmer + Kirkland (B+K) has grown to become one of the UK’s most successful and financially secure, privately-owned construction and development groups. There are 27 companies within the group specialising in construction and construction-related activities. Last year we achieved a turnover of £1.11billion.

Over the past five years 63% of our projects were for returning clients in a variety of sectors.

Bowmer + Kirkland offers clients in both the private and public sectors a national service delivered locally through specialist regional teams located in Manchester, Sunderland, Motherwell, Reading, London and our HQ in Derbyshire. As a private, family-owned business our aim is simple – to deliver the highest level of client satisfaction on every project.

About CBRE Group, Inc.

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2020 revenue). The company has more than 100,000 employees serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at

Ryder Architecture

Ryder was established in Newcastle in 1953, and now has a team of over 300 passionate people across the UK, Hong Kong, Vancouver and Amsterdam.  We deliver pioneering architectural services across a diverse portfolio of sectors, collaborating globally with Ryder Alliance partners.

Our goal is simple – to improve the quality of the world around us and, in doing so, improve people’s lives. #Everythingarchitecture