Construction of a £10bn ($14bn) floating wind megaproject that could halve current greenhouse gas emissions from UK’s offshore oil & gas operations by 2025 while generating industrial-scale volumes of green hydrogen has taken a key step forward, with ‘delivery partner’ NOV inking a deal with Emirates-based Lamprell to build platforms for the 3GW Cerulean Wind development.
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The memorandum of understanding with Lamprell, which supplied jackets for the 950MW Moray East wind farm off Scotland, encompasses fabrication, assembly and outfitting for 200-plus tri-floaters design foundations from its Hamriyah yard to be used for a trio of giga-scale wind farms in the West of Shetland and the Central North Sea regions.
Joe Rovig, President of NOV rig technologies, said: “Lamprell's track record in offshore wind will complement our UK and European infrastructure and personnel and we look forward to making a joint contribution towards decarbonising the UK offshore sector."
Christopher McDonald, CEO of Lamprell, said: “Our long history in the traditional oil & gas sector has stood us in good stead for our transition into the renewables space where we have been active since 2007,
“Offshore floating wind is a natural progression for the business and represents another step in the realisation of our strategy and establishing our credentials in the UK market. We look forward to supporting NOV in the development of this transformational project for the industry and Scotland."
NOV and Lamprell said they would “work closely to support and develop UK local content goals and will engage together in discussions with UK supply chain and UK yards interested in participating in the projects, and able to offer suitable solutions.”
The giant Cerulean project, first revealed by Recharge, would –have the power plant capacity to offset over nine of 18 million tonnes of CO2 expected to be emitted from the hydrocarbon province by mid-decade – while having surplus clean energy production to channel ashore to fuel an onshore hydrogen facilities.
The project, if given the go-ahead by the UK government, could be online as early as 2026.
Cerulean, set up by Dan Jackson and Mark Dixon – petroleum sector veterans who most recently ran a specialist consultancy spun out of GE Oil & Gas and McDermott International, in July agreed a deal with Px Group, operator of the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland, for three hydrogen production facilities for the project, one in northeast England, another in northeast Scotland, and a third on the Shetland Islands.
The Cerulean development is one of a number of major floating wind-centred projects linked to decarbonisation of North Sea oil & gas production. Seabed landlord the Crown Estate Scotland recently confirmed it would open bids in June for its so-called INTOG leasing round, with the aim of spurring some 4GW of offshore wind to power existing fossil fuel assets, and a further 500MW in a separate ‘pot’ of sub-100MW developments linked to areas such as green hydrogen.
In Norway, a the first-ever floating wind-powered oil production project, Equinor’s 88MW Hywind Tampen project, is under construction.