Aibel has been awarded a contract by the world leader in offshore wind, Ørsted, for two platforms for the Hornsea 3 project in the UK sector of the North Sea. Each platform represents a major contract for Aibel.
The contract is an EPCI contract where Aibel’s responsibility is for engineering, procurement, construction and installation in delivering two HVDC converter platforms. Hornsea 3 is Ørsted’s third project in the Hornsea Zone, where Hornsea 1 is operational, and Hornsea 2 currently is nearing operation.
The two platforms, Hornsea 3 Link 1 and 2, will follow Aibel and Hitachi Energy’s proven concept that has made both companies leading suppliers of HVDC converter platforms for the European offshore wind industry. The platforms will have a lean design with a steel jacket structure. The unmanned platforms will be operated from shore and accessed for maintenance by SOV (Service Operations Vessel) or helicopter.
The two platforms will have a combined capacity of up to 2.852 GW to serve the offshore wind turbines in the Hornsea 3 project. This makes the project the single largest offshore wind project in the world. It is expected to produce enough energy to meet the average daily needs of over 3 million UK homes.
“We are proud and honoured to enter into a new collaboration with Ørsted – a relationship that has matured over the last 36 months. With this award, we once again consolidate our position as a leading supplier of HVDC solutions in the European offshore wind segment,” says Aibel’s President and CEO, Mads Andersen.
“The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy, and the Hornsea projects are a significant step towards this goal in the UK,” said Patrick Harnett, Vice President Programme UK at Ørsted, and continued.
“Together with Aibel, we demonstrate that renewables like offshore wind are a huge part of the world’s sustainability journey. Hornsea 3 will not just provide low-cost, clean energy for millions of homes in the UK; it will also deliver thousands of high-quality jobs and billions of pounds of investment in the offshore wind supply chain in the UK and beyond.”
Four platforms under construction
Aibel’s position in the market for HVDC converter platforms is substantiated by the fact that the company currently has four platforms under construction – one for the Dolwin 5 project off the German coast and three platforms for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the UK part of the North Sea. With this latest addition to Aibel’s offshore wind portfolio, green energy projects make up a substantial part of the company’s order backlog.
“With the award of Hornsea 3, we accelerate our transformation towards renewables and low carbon solutions. Our order backlog now holds approx. 60% related to offshore wind and electrification of energy infrastructure. We are, of course, excited about this, and we look forward to working with Ørsted and delivering on our lean HVDC concept,” says Andersen.
Utilises knowledge and experience
The Hornsea 3 project will be headed from Aibel’s Oslo office, while construction of the two platform topsides will take place at Aibel’s yard in Thailand. They will then be transported to Haugesund, where they will be outfitted with Hitachi Energy’s latest generation HVDC converter valve technology before final completion and commissioning. This is the same delivery model as used for the Dogger Bank platforms. In this way, Aibel expects to utilise synergies from previous projects.
“We have worked closely with our partner Hitachi Energy on several projects, and our teams in Norway and Thailand have done a tremendous job on previous and ongoing offshore wind projects together with Hitachi Energy. Therefore, I’m confident we will succeed with our proven concept and delivery model,” says Nick Routledge, Executive Vice President for Offshore Wind in Aibel.
The platform topside for the Hornsea 3 Link 1 is scheduled to arrive in Haugesund in Q1 of 2025. Forecast sailaway to the Hornsea field is in 2026.
Image source: Courtesy of Aibel
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