Australian engineering giant Worley has acquired UK-based offshore wind energy installation and operations and maintenance (O&M) specialist 3sun Group for £20m ($25m), in a move designed as a “springboard” into the fast-growing Northern seas offshore wind play.

The take-over of 3sun, which currently claims 25% of the offshore wind turbine installation, maintenance and inspection services market off Britain, is foreseen creating a turnkey offering ranging over engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance, while “further broadening Worley’s role in the global energy transition”.

Eoghan Quinn, Worley’s global offshore wind lead, stated: “Growing our offering through enhanced O&M services has been a long-term aim and is a fundamental pillar of our expanding offshore wind capabilities.

“By adding 3sun’s skills and experience in offshore wind to our own existing global capabilities in the sector, we are ideally placed to continue our support to emerging markets such as Asia and the US, as well as continuing to add value in more mature markets like Europe.”

Quinn underlined that Worley would be knitting in in-house data analytics capabilities through its subsidiary Advisian into its turnkey O&M offering. “This is a key part of the strategy,” he told Recharge, pointing to future plans to embed digital tools designed to integrate offshore wind energy into the grid.

Worley CEO Andrew Wood said: “We believe that the combination of Worley’s international platform and 3sun’s expertise will provide a catalyst for us to grow a global O&M business in the offshore wind market.

The 3sun take-over is the second major acquisition for Worley this year, following April's buy-out of Jacobs Energy, Chemicals & Resources division.

The accelerating worldwide offshore wind build-out is expected to lead to an O&M that will grow some 17% year-on-year to be worth $12.5bn by 2028, with Europe accounting for $7.5bn, according to recent research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.