Sembcorp Marine Ltd and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions have secured a contract from RWE Renewables, to supply the high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical transmission system for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm.
Located on Dogger Bank, 195 km off the north east coastline of UK in the central North Sea, Sofia spans an area of 593 km2. With a capacity of 1.4 gigawatt (GW) that will power the equivalent of nearly 1.2 million UK homes with clean and renewable energy, Sofia will be one of the largest wind farms in the world when completed.
Sembcorp Marine and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions began early design works for the project in July 2020, after being chosen as the preferred supplier of the HVDC electrical transmission system. The HVDC system represents Sofia’s second largest contract and is worth approximately £600 million (S$1.12 billion).
The contract work scope comprises the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the offshore converter platform (OCP) and the onshore converter station (OCS), including all ancillary equipment. Sembcorp Marine’s scope of work includes the design, construction, installation and commissioning of the OCP.
The OCP, at the heart of the wind farm, comprises a 17,000-tonne topside and jacket foundation structure piled into the seabed 220 km from the nearest shore. It will be the most powerful and most remote OCP ever built.
Sven Utermohlen, Chief Operating Officer Wind Offshore Global of RWE Renewables said: “Signing this contract with the consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine for the supply of Sofia’s HVDC electrical system reflects RWE’s strong commitment to innovation and to pushing the boundaries of what is capable within the sector. The 1.4GW Sofia project is our first to use the HVDC technology, which was selected to maximise the wind farm’s export capacity from a location so far from shore. We are delighted to be working with such a strong pairing on the delivery of this flagship project located on the remote Dogger Bank, in the middle of the North Sea.”
Mr Samuel Wong, Head of Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms said: “Sembcorp Marine is excited to work on this mega-project with GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solution to support RWE Renewables’ Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project to augment its supply of wind energy in the UK.”
“We are grateful to RWE for its vote of confidence in Sembcorp Marine’s capabilities and outstanding track record of delivering offshore platforms to major field developments in Europe and Asia. As we move from early design work to the next phase of this groundbreaking project, we are committed to drive design, engineering and operational excellence and deep value creation for our customer, added Mr Wong.”
“As the HVDC consortium leader for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, we are excited to move ahead with this project,” said Raj Iyer, Grid Integration Leader at GE’s Grid Solutions. “The award of Sofia and operational success of DolWin3 offshore wind HVDC last year are evidence that GE’s Voltage Source Converter technology is now well established, and that GE has the ability to commercially deliver on this latest and most advanced HVDC technology.’’
Towards a sustainable future
With this contract win, Sembcorp Marine strengthens its position in the renewable energy segment, validating its strategy to transform itself into an innovative engineering solutions provider in the offshore, marine and energy industries with a focus on sustainability.
Sembcorp Marine President & CEO, Mr Wong Weng Sun said: “In keeping with the global shift towards a cleaner and greener energy mix, Sembcorp Marine has proactively diversified into cleaner, greener and renewable energy solutions since 2015. We have made strategic investments to augment our world-class assets, engineering talent and technological bench strength to position Sembcorp Marine in the centre of the fundamental shift to a low-carbon economy.”
Construction of the offshore converter platform by Sembcorp Marine will start this year with delivery and installation at the Wind Farm site in 2023.