Siemens secures Dudgeon order

Norwegian energy giant Statoil plans to build its down-scaled Dudgeon wind power project off the UK using 6MW Siemens turbines, under a £516m ($846m) deal that also includes operations and maintenance for the 400MW development.

The German OEM, which will deliver 67 of its 154m diameter rotor machines for the Round 2 wind farm, will kick off the contract this month with engineering and design work for the project’s foundations and electrical infrastructure.

A first batch of the SWT-6.0-154s, also in the frame for Dong’s giant Westermost Rough project, will be ready for load-out at the start of 2017.

"The new turbine contract will secure planned progress in the Dudgeon project towards full operation during 2017,” says Statoil renewable energy senior vice president Siri Espedal Kindem.

“Technology development is fundamental to optimising offshore wind industry costs and solutions, and the use of new large turbines such as these is a main contributor to reducing offshore wind costs."

The service contract will cover maintenance of the turbines through the first two years after installation, followed by three years during which Siemens will provide Dudgeon with technicians.

Last month, the UK government gave the green light to a number of key changes to Dudgeon as part of a plan to shrink the project’s capacity by 29% from its originally consented 560MW – a downscaling requested by Statoil and partner Statkraft to prevent generation-draining wake effect from too many turbines in the development zone.

The government rubber-stamp also clears the way for use of new-breed suction bucket foundations or conventional monopiles with a diametre of up to 8.5m to better deal with “high risk” areas of mobile sand waves and a layer of chalk beneath the subsea bed.

A final investment decision on Dudgeon, Statoil’s second full-scale wind power project after Sheringham Shoal, is expected in the third quarter.

"This WTG contract is important for further developing the Dudgeon project towards concept selection and a final investment decision in 2014. We have gained valuable experience to build on from Sheringham Shoal from both the installation and operational phases," says Statoil offshore wind project vice president Halfdan Brustad.

Once in operation, the wind farm, which stands in water depths of 18-25m some 30km off the east coast of the UK, will flow electricity to some 400,000 British households.