Company wins multi-million-pound contract to build world first vessels

Simon Coote

Simon Coote, director of Alicat. - Credit: Archant

A Great Yarmouth-based company is celebrating after it won a multi-million-pound contract to build a fleet of boats to service offshore wind turbines.

Alicat, the marine and engineering specialist, was selected from multiple UK shipyards by North Star Renewables to build its first two daughter craft vessels, which are destined for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, 130km off England's North East Coast.

The low carbon emitting vessels, which use a world-first combination of diesel and electric outboards, will transfer technicians from their accommodation to work on the offshore wind turbines at Dogger Bank.

North Star chief operating officer and Boston Putford MD Robert Catchpole said: “We are very excited to announce Alicat as the chosen shipbuilder for our first next generation and new breed of sustainable, reliable, comfortable daughter craft fleet, configured specifically for the renewables sector.

"Alicat is a leader in its field and demonstrated the comprehensive technical knowledge as well as great craftsmanship and the project management skills required to deliver the first of our new fleet.


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“We are very fortunate to have talented companies like Alicat on our doorstep in East Anglia and working with them aligns to our strategy of utilising UK businesses whenever possible to strengthen our services in our ambitions as the market leader in marine offshore wind infrastructure support in the UK, and abroad.”

North Star currently has 63 daughter craft within the existing fleet, managed and maintained by the two Rescue Boat divisions, one of which is in Lowestoft.

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Alicat director, Simon Coote, said: “This multi-million-pound contract is a significant win for our business as it further establishes us on the renewables map as the first company in the world to build hybrid powered daughter craft, which is also the first offshore wind daughter craft to be built in the UK.

“Our involvement in testing and knowledge of the new breed of outboard propulsion packages has a significant role to play in the build of these innovative vessels.

“This is a great achievement for all the parties involved as well as for the local boatbuilding industry and supply chain which will support ongoing employment and open further opportunities for local employment and apprenticeships.”

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