North Star raises £140m to boost renewables fleet
Scottish shipping firm North Star has raised £140m from investors to support the expansion of its fleet for offshore wind projects in the North Sea.
The money includes a £50m commitment from the Scottish National Investment Bank, as well as other investors.
The Aberdeen-based firm aims to add 40 new service operations vessels (SOVs) to its fleet by 2040.
SOVs provide accommodation for wind technicians and access to equipment in the field.
North Star, which is owned by global private equity firm Partners Group, has bases in Aberdeen, Lowestoft and Newcastle. It has been operating in the North Sea for 135 years.
With a 1,300-strong workforce, it currently manages and operates 42 offshore support vessels.
North Star entered the offshore wind market last year after winning long-term SOV contracts for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. As a result, four new vessels will be delivered from 2023, financed by a £127m facility secured from Allianz Global Investors.
North Star chief strategy officer Fraser Dobbie said the latest finance package would support its ambition to become a leading player in the European SOV market.
He added: “The £140m secured today secures the capital required for us to continue our newbuilding programme 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.”
Scottish National Investment Bank executive director Jimmy Williamson said: “The bank is catalysing support for Scotland’s offshore wind supply chain by enabling companies like North Star to increase focus on providing vital services for offshore wind farms and in supporting their transition to net zero.”