DONG Energy has announced plans for a new renewables investment in Grimsby to create the U.K.’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) hub.
Subject to planning approval, the new facility will be developed in the town’s Royal Dock and will initially support the 210 MW Westermost Rough, 573 MW Race Bank and 1.2 GW Hornsea Project One offshore wind farms, according to DONG. Further, it will have the capacity to support other east coast wind farms in the company’s future development pipeline.
According to DONG, the hub will be served by high-tech vessels capable of accommodating up to 60 crew and technicians while remaining at sea for long periods. The hub will also include a comprehensive marine coordination center capable of providing 24/7 service to offshore operations across the U.K. and beyond.
Brent Cheshire, U.K. country chairman of DONG Energy, said, “This new operational hub in Grimsby will be a game-changing industry first, raising the bar for the way we serve offshore wind farms. 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 U.K. offshore wind industry and confirms our commitment to the Humber region, where by 2019, we expect to have invested around [6 billion British pounds].”
The new O&M hub will sit alongside the existing Westermost Rough O&M facility, using additional land to be leased from Associated British Ports.
DONG says service operational vessels, supplied by Ostensjo Rederi and designed by Rolls-Royce, are being chartered to operate from the new hub. The first vessel is expected to arrive late next year, when it will initially support the operation and maintenance of Race Bank, DONG Energy’s offshore wind farm currently under construction 17 miles off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coastlines.