Keppel FELS to build North Sea offshore wind converter station

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The offshore converter station is a 900 MW gravity based structure (Image: ABB)

A consortium consisting of Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary Keppel FELS and Stavanger, Norway, based Aibel AS, has secured a contract from grid operator TenneT Offshore GmbH for the design, engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of a 900 MW offshore HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) converter station and an onshore converter station.

Aibel’s scope within the consortium is the engineering and procurement while the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore will be constructing the converter platform. After transportation from Singapore to Haugesund, Aibel will install ABB’s HVDC conversion equipment, including commissioning, transport and installation of the complete converter platform offshore.

Scheduled to be completed in 2024, the two converter stations will be part of the DolWin cluster servicing offshore wind farms in the German sector of the North Sea. The offshore converter station will be located approximately 130 km from the onshore converter station and they will provide grid connection for the offshore wind power plants to transmit and supply electricity to approximately a million households in Germany.

Keppel FELS’ share of the contract is worth about S$560 million (about US$411 million).

Together with its subcontractor ABB , the consortium will also undertake the installation and start-up operations of the offshore and onshore converter stations on site at Germany.

Mr Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M said, “This is Keppel O&M’s first major project of this scale and extends our track record in supporting the renewable energy industry. We see opportunities in this segment as the offshore renewables market is expected to increase significantly over time with increasing concerns over climate change. Keppel O&M is able to leverage our expertise in offshore energy infrastructure to offer customized and high quality solutions across the offshore wind farm value chain.”

The offshore converter station is a 900 MW gravity based structure (GBS) based on Aibel’s patented design and will be equipped with living quarters, a helideck and lifting cranes. When completed, it will be able to receive power from three offshore wind farms and convert High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) to High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) before sending it to the onshore converter station via subsea cables. The onshore converter station will then convert the HVDC back to HVAC and transmit to the grid.

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