• News
  • Press Releases
  • Wind

New North Star vessel bound for East Anglia THREE windfarm

Cochin Shipyard Ltd confirmed to build second SOV for North Star’s growing fleet

North Star has secured a contract with Siemens Gamesa to build a hybrid service operations vessel (SOV) bound for long-term charter at the East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm development located off the Suffolk coast, England.

This adds an eighth hybrid offshore wind ship to the organisation’s renewables fleet since it expanded into the market two-and-a-half years ago, and another notable benchmark on its strategic journey to add 40 SOVs to the business by 2040.

This latest win in the North Sea means the firm will now support two of the world’s largest windfarms, having already delivered three of four planned SOVs ahead of schedule to the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being operated out of Port of Tyne.

North Star chief operating officer Robert Catchpole, who is based at the firm’s Lowestoft facility, said: “We are thrilled to start a new relationship with Siemens Gamesa, one of the most pioneering and well-respected global OEM wind turbine technology manufacturers.

“This marks our first SOV contract in the southern North Sea, which will be serviced by our talented operational team stationed strategically in the region to provide dedicated support throughout this new long-term partnership. It also presents a wealth of prospects for both our seasoned seafarers and aspiring crew members, while opening up additional opportunities for our local supply chain.

“This achievement not only underscores our commitment to driving operational excellence, but also solidifies our position as a key player in project management, delivering multiple vessels simultaneously.”

The East Anglia THREE wind farm will have a total capacity of 1,400MW, generating green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3 million homes.

Pedro Fernandez, ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia THREE project director said: It’s fantastic to have North Star on board for East Anglia THREE and playing a major role in powering a clean energy future for us all. This is a great example of the opportunities windfarms like ours can create for local supply chains and underlines the East of England’s position as a global centre of excellence for the offshore wind industry. We look forward to seeing the new vessel take shape over the next couple of years and getting to work on the windfarm once commissioned.”

Andrew Viles, Siemens Gamesa’s head of operations for Northern Europe, said: “We are pleased that North Star will be building a new SOV to support the East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm project. This agreement continues to highlight our focus and commitment to providing high-performing and long-term offshore service logistics solutions to our operations and customers.”

Meanwhile, the construction project for the SOV of VARD 4 19 design has been awarded by North Star to Cochin Shipyard Ltd. A forerunner in India’s shipbuilding and repair industry, the firm is also currently building a tailored SOV to VARD 4 07 design for the business, which will be delivered to EnBW on a decade-long minimum charter to service the He Dreiht wind farm off the coast of Germany.

North Star’s chief technology officer James Bradford added: “Our cutting-edge hybrid SOVs bring unmatched comfort, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability to the forefront of considerations for wind technicians carrying out maintenance scopes in field, ensuring smoother operations and accelerating the world’s transition towards cleaner energy solutions.

“We have chosen Cochin Shipyard Ltd to undertake this second SOV newbuild project due to their exceptional track record of delivering high-quality vessels on time and within budget. Their expertise and proven capabilities align perfectly with our vision for advancing sustainable maritime solutions, ensuring that we continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients and contribute positively to a greener future.”

“Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is extremely happy to be chosen again as the preferred partner for North Star and is participating to achieve its goals of North Star in the offshore renewable segment. CSL is committed to build high quality products with focussed interest in sustainable solutions to serve the evolving maritime markets,” said Mr. Madhu Nair, the Chairman and Managing Director of CSL.

The high specification vessel will accommodate up to 60 of its client’s wind technicians as they support maintenance operations across all 95 wind turbines at the East Anglia Hub development. To ensure safe crew transfers, it has a height adjustable motion compensated gangway and also features North Star’s Decision Support system to support zero carbon objectives.

The new SOV is due to be delivered to Siemens Gamesa to commence operations for the East Anglia THREE development in late 2026. The contract will be front run by one of North Star’s two commissioning SOVs, the CSOV Kestrel from April the same year.

The company, which in addition to Lowestoft, has bases in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Hamburg, plans to recruit a further 34 crew for the new SOV.


About North Star: 

North Star is the market leading UK provider of mission critical, offshore infrastructure support services to offshore wind and offshore oil and gas markets.

The firm has bases in Aberdeen, Lowestoft and Newcastle and Hamburg, and has a workforce of 1,400 seafarers and onshore personnel. It has been supporting the energy sector for the past four decades. Its offshore infrastructure support vessel fleet boasts 42 assets and provides continuous around the clock support services to more than 50 North Sea installations. The company’s first three of four Service Operations Vessels (SOVs), the Grampian Tyne, Grampian Derwent and Grampian Tees have been delivered to support the Dogger Bank Wind Farm partners, all are under charter for a 10-year minimum. The business has also invested in its first two Commissioning SOVs to support the growing European offshore wind market.

The 137-year-old business, which was originally established to support the fisheries industry, is also the country’s largest employer of offshore cadets. Since 1996, it has trained hundreds of future deck and engineering trainees, investing £1million annually on average to develop the next generation.

By combining safety, service and quality, the company delivers exceptional levels of support to its clients in one of world’s most challenging and demanding industries.

About Siemens Energy

Siemens Energy is one of the world’s leading energy technology companies. The company works with its customers and partners on energy systems for the future, thus supporting the transition to a more sustainable world. With its portfolio of products, solutions and services, Siemens Energy covers almost the entire energy value chain – from power and heat generation and transmission to storage. The portfolio includes conventional and renewable energy technology, such as gas and steam turbines, hybrid power plants operated with hydrogen, and power generators and transformers.

Our wind power subsidiary Siemens Gamesa makes Siemens Energy a global market leader for renewable energies. An estimated one-sixth of the electricity generated worldwide is based on technologies from Siemens Energy. Siemens Energy employs around 99,000 people worldwide in more than 90 countries and generated revenue of €31 billion in fiscal year 2023.www.siemens-energy.com

About Cochin:

Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is a leading player in Shipbuilding and repair services in India serving the global markets in the offshore and merchant marine segments. With fifty two years of service, having spread with seven locations on the east and west coasts of India, CSL is further expanding its capacity by commissioning a 310 mtrs dry dock and a 6000 Tons shiplift facility at Kochi. The company focuses on products with modern green sustainable solutions with active interest in the offshore renewable segment.

About VARD

VARD is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels. Headquartered in Norway and with approximately 8,000 employees, VARD operates shipbuilding facilities in Norway, Romania, Brazil and Vietnam. Through its specialized subsidiaries, VARD develops power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation solutions, and provides design and engineering services to the global maritime industry.

VARD’s long shipbuilding traditions, cutting-edge innovation and technology coupled with its global operations and track record in constructing complex and highly customized vessels have earned it recognition from industry players and enabled it to build strong relationships with its customers.

Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A, a wholly owned subsidiary of FINCANTIERI S.p.A. Headquartered in Trieste, Italy, is the majority shareholder of VARD holding 98 % of the share capital. FINCANTIERI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, and a global leader in cruise ship design and reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors. With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 ships built, the Group today has a production network of 18 shipyards operating in four continents and over 20,000 employees.