North Star Eyes 40 Hybrid SOVs by 2040 with New Funding in Its Pockets

(Credit: North Star)
(Credit: North Star)

North Star has secured debt investment of up to $543 million (£425 million) to fuel the next phase of its European offshore wind expansion, setting the target to add 40 hybrid service operation vessels (SOVs) to its fleet by 2040.

The committed financial package of $287 million (£225 million) includes term facilities from existing lender, IFM Investors, and committed capex and working capital resources from banks including ABN AMRO (sustainability co-ordinator), AIB, NAB, Royal Bank of Scotland and RBC (sustainability structuring advisor).

The facilities also have accordion capacity allowing a further $256 million (£200 million) in funding, enabling the firm the flexibility to upsize as required, removing financial risk and streamlining new business opportunities in the offshore wind sector.

North Star, owned by Partners Group a global private market firm acting on behalf of its clients, has bases in Aberdeen, Lowestoft, Newcastle, and Hamburg, and operates 41 multi-purpose ships in the North Sea.

In addition, it also has three of four newbuild SOVs in operation at the Dogger Bank Wind Farm with the final asset on schedule for early delivery next year.

The firm has a further four newbuilds underway – an SOV for EnBW's He Dreiht wind farm in Germany, another for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy at the East Anglia THREE project, and its first two larger commissioning SOVs to further support its offshore wind clients.

“This $543 million (£425 million) strategic investment highlights the attraction of our robust business model and ESG transition journey as we push to become the leading player in Europe’s SOV sector.

“For potential clients, this committed debt package provides certainty on our ability to deliver vessels as outlined in our tender bids, financially de-risking the process completely. This provides us with a competitive edge and a superior ability to turnaround high quality SOV newbuild programs more rapidly, ensuring the best value and service in the industry,” said Fraser Dobbie, North Star chief financial officer.

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