Sembcorp Marine partners GE Renewable Energy on UK wind farm project

SEMBCORP Marine (Sembmarine) has clinched a contract worth £600 million (S$1.12 billion) together with GE Renewable Energy's Grid Solutions from RWE Renewables to supply a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical system for UK-based Sofia Offshore Wind Farm.

This is the largest deal SembMarine has clinched in partnership with another firm since its demerger from Sembcorp Industries last year, the company told The Business Times.

Spanning an area of 593 square kilometres, the project with a 1.4 gigawatt (GW) capacity will power approximately 1.2 million UK homes with clean and renewable energy. This will make Sofia one of the largest wind farms in the world once the project is completed, Sembmarine said in a press statement on Monday.

Sembmarine's scope of work in this contract includes design, construction, installation and commissioning of the offshore convertor platform.

Said Samuel Wong, head of Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms: "Sembcorp Marine is excited to work on this mega-project with GE Renewable Energy's Grid Solutions to support RWE Renewables' Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project to augment its supply of wind energy in the UK.

"As we move from early design work to the next phase of this groundbreaking project, we are committed to drive design, engineering and operational excellence and deep value creation for our customer."

The construction of the offshore platform by Sembmarine will start this year, with delivery and installation at the wind farm site in 2023.

Said Sven Utermöhlen, chief operating officer, wind offshore global, at RWE Renewables: "The 1.4GW Sofia project is our first to use the HVDC technology, which was selected to maximise the wind farm's export capacity from a location so far from shore. We are delighted to be working with such a strong pairing on the delivery of this flagship project located on the remote Dogger Bank, in the middle of the North Sea."

Since 2015, Sembmarine has been pivoting towards green projects and working to boost its profit margins. The group's turnover for the full year of 2020 was reported to be S$1.51 billion, down from S$2.9 billion in the full year of 2019, decreasing by 47.6 per cent. Its net loss widened to S$582.5 million in 2020 from S$137.2 million from the same period a year ago. In an earnings call last month, its finance director William Goh broadly estimated that SembMarine would need S$2.5 billion to S$4 billion in order to turn profitable.

Sembmarine shares closed 1.9 per cent or 0.3 Singapore cent higher at 16.2 cents on Friday.

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