Saipem Wins More Offshore Wind Work for Saipem 7000

The Saipem 7000 installs a wind turbine at the Hywind offshore wind project located approximately 30 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Photo courtesy Saipem

Italian oil services giant Saipem has announced multiple new contract awards related to offshore wind projects currently under development off the coasts of England, Scotland and France.

First, the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farms, the joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables, has awarded Saipem with a contract for the transportation and installation of two offshore High Voltage Direct Current platforms for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank project: Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B. Both platforms will have a capacity of 1.2 GW and will consist of a 2,900-ton jacket and a. 8,500-ton topside.

Once completed, Dogger Bank will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, located some 130km off the North East coast of England. The project is the first to use HVDC technology in the UK’s offshore wind market.

Next, Saipem has also been awarded an installation contract by Seaway 7 related to the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, a 1,075 MW joint venture project between SSE Renewables (49%) and Total (51%) off the East coast of Scotland. The scope of work entails the installation of 114 foundations for an equivalent number of wind turbines.

Finally, Saipem has been awarded a contract for the transportation and installation of the jacket and topside of the offshore substation at St-Brieuc offshore wind farm, located in Brittany, France, which is being developed by Ailes Marines, part of the Iberdrola group. All project management and engineering activities shall be executed by Saipem SA, Saipem’s French subsidiary established in Paris.

All three offshore installation projects will be carried out by the crane vessel Saipem 7000. Previously the Saipem 7000 was hired to mount five floating offshore wind turbines for the Highwind project in the UK North Sea.

Saipem values the contracts in the north of 90 million euros combined. The company says the contracts help to further establish the company within the renewables sector, for which a dedicated business line has been recently established within the E&C Offshore division.

“These new contracts confirm Saipem’s participation in the most relevant offshore wind farm developments and are the tangible results of a strategy which has led us to become a global reference player in the energy transition,” said Francesco Racheli, Chief Operating Officer of Saipem’s E&C Offshore Divisio. “This significant achievement has been attained by leveraging on our capabilities, our technological flexibility and our distinctive assets.”

Renewable Energy Helps Utilities Survive Virus Slump

offshore wind farm
A support vessel is seen next to a wind turbine at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool, Britain September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

European utilities with bulging renewable energy portfolios are showing that the way out of the coronavirus slump is coloured green.

Energy companies from Orsted A/S to Iberdrola SA reported robust first-quarter earnings in a period that has been bedevilled by a slump in energy demand and a collapse in gas prices. Owning large wind and solar portfolios has so far protected those companies from the worst effects of the crisis.

Utilities are the third best performing sector on the Stoxx 600 this year, down 11% instead of the 17% slump the broader market has suffered.

“There is complete consensus that the road to economic recovery must be green,” Ignacio Galan, Iberdrola’s chairman, said after announcing the results on Wednesday.

Here follows a round-up of the key energy earnings:

Orsted

The world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms gave a sign that green power generators will emerge from the crisis relatively unscathed. The Danish firm maintained its earnings guidance for the year in its first-quarter update to the market.

Conservative hedging and 90% of generation from renewables should largely shield Orsted’s profit from the sharp decline in power prices and demand, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

However, what lies ahead may be harder to navigate. Offshore wind projects in the U.S. are facing regulatory delays, pushing back the moment hundreds of megawatts were due to come online, potentially by years.

Iberdrola

The Spanish energy giant shrugged off any concerns that the coronavirus is hurting its business despite a collapse in demand in one of the European nations hit hardest by the pandemic. It maintained its growth and dividend target for the year. It pointed to 8.5 gigawatts of new capacity under construction as well as plans to hire 5,000 people as all reasons to be optimistic for the future.

Vattenfall

The state-owned Swedish utility showed how to profit from a collapse in prices by making 1.77 billion kronor ($180 million) from buying and selling energy. Traders managed to navigate volatile markets driven by the growing impact of the pandemic and a glut of natural gas that sent European benchmark prices down by almost half this year. Profit for Vattenfall’s growing wind business was up 44%.

Naturgy

The utility said Wednesday that it plans to revise all its natural gas procurement contracts in 2020. Gas prices slid to record lows in Europe and Asia, and many buyers are looking for deferrals of shipments. The rout is pushing gas buyers to seek better deals from suppliers in a market that’s seen to remain in a glut until at least the middle of the decade.

–With assistance from William Mathis and Lars Paulsson.