Dogger Bank foundations to feature UK steel

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 22/12/2021 Dogger Bank
The foundations for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm will feature steel manufactured in Wales and processed in Corby and Hartlepool.

Sif and Smulders were awarded contracts to provide the monopiles and transition pieces for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind A&B in November 2020, with
Dogger Bank C awarded a year later.

They have since awarded subcontracts to South Tyneside-based Metec and Rochdale-based Granada to work on this project, with an order now placed with Tata Steel to help shape the transition pieces.

Steel made in Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site and processed into hollow sections at the company’s Corby and Hartlepool sites, will help form the supporting components of the transition pieces to be used in the fist two phases of the wind farm.

Sandip Biswas, Chairman of the Board of Tata Steel UK, said: “We are proud to be able to help support UK jobs and manufacturing through this project.

“Huge amounts of steel will be needed to help the UK achieve its net-zero goals – to build everything from renewable energy and low-CO2 transportation to hydrogen production and distribution.

“At the same time, we have targets for our own decarbonisation as a steelmaker. Our own transition to a decarbonised future will rely on a secure supply of competitively priced renewable energy – whether that be to create hydrogen for future steelmaking or power new low-CO2 furnaces. The more we can help in delivering these landmark projects the better.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director Steve Wilson, said: “This is another great example of how we’re taking advantage of UK skills and expertise to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Our transition pieces are among the largest to be installed on an offshore wind farm, and this UK-manufactured steel will form some of the supporting components.

“Dogger Bank Wind Farm is already creating or supporting more than 3,000 jobs in the UK supply chain, and giving companies the chance to work on a pioneering project which will help them become increasingly competitive as the world adapts to produce energy that doesn’t cost the earth.”

Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B form 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 C is being project financed with gearing of approximately 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.

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

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.

Phase A (1,200 MW) with a strike price of £39.65/MWh (in 2012 prices, CPI-indexed) for delivery in 2023/24. Phases 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 civil works for Phase 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