RWE has selected Van Oord as the preferred supplier for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the monopile foundations and array cables for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, one of the world’s largest offshore wind projects.
The 1.4 GW Sofia project is sited on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea – 195 kilometers from the North East coast – where Van Oord, through its U.K. branch MPI Offshore, will create a logistics hub to deliver the comprehensive scope of work. Van Oord will deploy its offshore installation vessel Aeolus to install the 100 extended monopile foundations without transition pieces, while the 350 kilometers of array cables will be installed by cable-laying vessel Nexus. Van Oord will sub-contract the fabrication of the foundations and array cables.
“On Dogger Bank, we are building one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms,” says Sven Utermöhlen, COO of global offshore wind at RWE. “Van Oord is a well-known partner to us, with Sofia being the fifth and largest U.K. offshore wind farm that we have worked on together. This gives us a wealth of experience to draw on as we progress the project through its construction phase.”
Van Oord worked closely with RWE on the construction of the Rampion, Humber Gateway, Robin Rigg and London Array offshore wind farms. Sofia presents the opportunity to further develop th U.K. supply chain relationships, evolve construction techniques and optimize the design of the foundations, which will be supporting some of the largest turbines currently on the market.
Onshore construction will get underway at Sofia’s converter station site early next year. Work on the foundation and array package is set to begin after the project’s financial investment decision in Q1 2021, with installation scheduled for 2024.