A blessed wind project is underway

Today, Aibel officially started construction of the Dogger Bank A offshore wind platform when cutting the first steel in Thailand at a solemn ceremony with worshipping and blessing by Thai monks.

DBA The monk anoint over 1st cut steel Deeline 3
In keeping with tradition, the steel was blessed by a monk before the first cut. All photos: Aibel

The traditional ceremony was held at subcontractor Deeline, partly owned by Aibel, in the Rayong District and within short distance of Aibel’s assembly yard in Laem Chabang.

1st cut ceremony overview
The ceremony at Deeline was attended by Thai-based management, employees and customer representatives from Equinor and SSE Renewables..

In recent years, this has been the starting point for several large Aibel projects, which has led to continuous investments and development of the facilities to meet market requirements and the ongoing energy transition. This was addressed in the recorded video speech by Aibel’s Executive Vice President for Field Development and Offshore Wind, Nils Arne Hatleskog.

“I’m proud of you all and what you have achieved in recent years. This first cut milestone marks a new era for Deeline, Aibel Thailand and Aibel as a whole, as we once again demonstrate our competiveness and ability to execute complex projects – not only within oil and gas, but also in renewables. And I’m sure that the Dogger Bank project will be delivered as agreed,” he said.

DBA 1st cut steel Deeline 2
Cutting of the first steel.

Most recently, Aibel Thailand has delivered huge modules for Gudrun, Troll, the Johan Sverdrup drilling platform and a large number of FPSO modules to several projects worldwide. Currently, the largest module for the Johan Sverdrup P2 platform is under construction at Aibel’s yard in Thailand.

Ahead of the construction start of the Dogger Bank A platform, both Deeline and Aibel has invested heavily in upgrading of facilities. This includes a new 112,000 m2 assembly area with three new halls for painting, sand blasting and surface treatment at the Laem Chabang yard. Specifically for the Dogger Bank project, Deeline has built a new 120 x 30 metres hall with a panel line to increase efficiency in production of the large steel plates for the offshore wind platforms.

DBA Speech by Mr nick Deeline 2
Managing Director of Aibel Thailand, Nick Routledge, was among the speakers at the ceremony. Speeches from Norwegian management was video recorded due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“The entire project team has put down a lot of effort to be ready for today. Not only in terms of physical facilities, but also time spent on developing a positive project culture. This has really paid off during the corona period, and I am very proud of how positive and patient everybody have been in this regard. That’s one of the reasons why we are able to celebrate this milestone today on time according to the original plan,” Aibel’s Project Director for Dogger Bank, Per Tore Larsen, said.

DBA Monk Blessing ceremony Deeline
The ceremony started early in the morning.

The Dogger Bank A platform will be delivered from Thailand in spring 2022, and will head to Aibel in Haugesund for installation of HV equipment. In late spring 2023, the platform will be installed and put into production at the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the UK part of the North Sea.

Aibel is also awarded the contract for the Dogger Bank B platform, and an option for Dogger Bank C. Construction is scheduled for startup in 2021 and 2022, respectively.