North Star’s SOVs for Dogger Bank secure capital

North Star Renewables has finalised a £96 million funding package to build its new fleet of renewables vessels. The company secured a loan from Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), supplementing North Star’s own balance sheet and equity investments from Basalt Infrastructure Partners (its 100% shareholder) to build three new service operations vessels (SOVs). It is AllianzGI’s first SOV investment.

The new SOVs will be delivered to the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm on contracts lasting 10 years plus options. Dogger Bank, located in the North Sea, is posed to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, once complete. It will be capable of powering six million British homes.

The wind farm project is currently construction by Equinor, SSE Renewables, and Eni, and is expected to create 130 long-term Scottish and north-English jobs. The first of North Star’s SOVs is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Tyne in Summer 2023.

“This investment from AllianzGI is a first for our industry and attracting project finance from such a well-respected, global investor demonstrates the confidence in our capabilities to deliver and operate our new SOVs which have been a transformational step for the company in terms of our energy transition”, said Matthew Gordon, CEO of North Star.

“This is the beginning of a third phase for our business. North Star started out in the fisheries industry 135 years ago before diversifying into the oil and gas sector in the 1970s. Our new, unique SOV design has kick started this very exciting new chapter for the business in renewables and we plan continue building on this momentum. We are highly motivated and driven by our ability to innovate through our technology partners, and our ambition to deliver best-in-class vessel solutions for the offshore wind market in the UK and abroad.”

Marie Madelin, who led the execution of the investment for AllianzG,I commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with North Star to invest 100% of the debt funding to finance the construction and operation of this fleet of sustainable state-of-the-art support vessels. The SOVs will be embedded in the Dogger Bank offshore windfarm’s O&M value chain while under long term charters to the project SPVs, thus playing a critical role in the UK’s energy transition. Our clients are enthusiastic funders of infrastructure investment globally which facilitates decarbonisation. In this case, their capital will support North Star’s transition from predominantly servicing the oil and gas industry to servicing renewable energy generation. This investment adds to our growing portfolio of renewable energy and energy transition enabling infrastructure assets.”

Advisers including DC Advisory, Watson Farley Williams, and Ashurst supported the transaction.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.