(OED) UK-based offshore vessel operator North Star has secured a £140 million (currently around $171 million) financing package.
The company, building a fleet of service operation vessels for offshore wind operations, said Tuesday it would use the funds to support the next phase of its ambitious offshore wind growth plan.
The investment includes a £50 million commitment from the Scottish National Investment Bank (The Bank), as well as IFM Investors, Edmond de Rothschild’s BRIDGE, and RBC Capital Markets.
“The Bank’s investment aligns with its mission to support Scotland’s transition to net zero, allowing the continued expansion of offshore wind projects in the North Sea by addressing recognized demand for SOVs and commissioning service operations vessels (CSOVs),” North Star said.
North Star has bases in Aberdeen, Lowestoft, and Newcastle, and manages and operates 42 offshore support vessels, providing safety services to over 50 UK continental shelf installations.
The company entered the offshore wind market last year after winning four long-term charter SOV awards for the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
The four SOVs will be delivered starting in 2023, financed by a £127 million project facility secured from Allianz Global Investors last year.
SOVs provide accommodation for wind technicians and access to equipment while working offshore. North Star’s utilize hybrid-power, dynamic positioning (DP), AI and machine learning technologies.
North Star’s chief strategy officer, Fraser Dobbie, said the funding provided the means to continue to add to the company’s growing vessel fleet and supported its ambition to be a leading player in the European SOV market.
“The £140million secured today secures the capital required for us to continue our newbuilding program in the year ahead, whilst providing us with the flexibility to continue to expand these facilities to meet our strategy of 40 new SOVs by 2040,” Dobbie said.