The Port of Tyne has been named as the new base for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm in a move that is set to support the creation of about 200 jobs in the region.

Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the Dogger Bankoffshore wind farm, have announced plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base at the port.

Construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020. As operator for the operations phase, Equinor will construct the new O&M base, and operate the wind farm for its expected life of more than 25 years.

The overall wind farm comprises three 1.2GW phases, with each phase located more than 130km from the North East coast of England. When fully operational it is set to provide enough renewable electricity for more than 4.5 million UK homes.

The multimillion-pound O&M facility, which includes both office space and a warehouse, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s teams ensuring the efficient operation of the wind farm.

The flagship project is expected to generate more than 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm has been estimated to generate a total capital investment of about £9bn between 2020 and 2026.

Stephen Bull, senior vice president for Equinor’s North Sea New Energy Solutions, and chair of Renewable UK, said: “The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.

“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.”

Matt Beeton, chief executive of the Port of Tyne, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected by Equinor and SSE Renewables as the port of choice to house the Operations and Maintenance base for the largest offshore wind farm in the world. This is clearly a very important milestone in attracting such leading names in offshore power generation to the Port but it’s also extremely important for the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment opportunities.

“The port recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030. Offshore wind is a key component of that strategy and this announcement is a huge step towards developing a cleaner future for the Port, the region and for industry in the North East.”

Originally published in InsiderMedia