Equinor and SSE, the developers of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank complex in the UK North Sea, have chosen to use Jan De Nul’s giant Voltaire jack-up vessel for the assignment of installing the 12MW GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X turbines selected for the project.

The job will be the first for the Voltaire, which stands taller than France’s Eiffel Tower and a lifting capacity of over 3,000 tonnes, as it enters service in 2022.

“Dogger Bank represents the leading edge of the offshore wind industry. We and SSE Renewables believe the addition of Jan De Nul Group’s ground-breaking vessel to our project will drive the industry forward and make it more competitive,” said Halfdan Brustad, vice president for Dogger Bank at Equinor.

Philippe Hutse, Jan De Nul’s offshore director, added: “The size of this giant project coincides perfectly with the capacities of our jack-up vessel Voltaire. It underlines that we are entering in to a new phase of offshore wind farm construction.”

Earlier this month, Recharge revealed exclusively that GE had landed the preferred supplier agreement from Equinor/SSE to deliver as many as 300 Haliade-Xs for Dogger Bank.

Once fully operational, Dogger Bank, located in water depths of 20-35 metres some 130km from the UK’s north-east coast, will supply power to over 4.5 million homes annually, equivalent to around 5% of the country's estimated electricity generation.

Dogger Bank, which is made up of the Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B and Teesside A projects, will be central to the UK’s so-called ‘sector deal’ plans to capitalise on the economic development potential represented by offshore wind – which is foreseen providing 30GW of power to the national grid by 2030 .