Bladt bags its largest substation order in new Semco JV

The substation for Shell's and EDPR's Mayflower Wind project will be constructed and handled by a new joint venture between suppliers Bladt and Semco.
Photo: BLADT
Photo: BLADT

Oil major Shell and energy firm EDPR, the project developers of US offshore wind farm Mayflower Wind, have awarded the contract for the project's substation to a joint venture between suppliers Bladt Industries and Semco Maritime, the latter partners inform.

"We are proud that Mayflower Wind has selected Bladt and Semco for this comprehensive offshore substation project on the US East Coast. We consider it an important recognition of our joint competencies and our strong focus on HSE during the construction phase," says Bladt Chief Sales Officer Nils Overgaard.

Bigger role for Semco

It's not the first time that Bladt and Semco are to provide the substation for a US offshore wind farm. At Mayflower's neighboring project also meant to supply power to Massachusetts, Vineyard Wind, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables ordered steel construction from these suppliers as well. At the time, however, the order was placed with Bladt, with Semco playing its usual role of collaboration partner rather than part of a joint venture.

The job's extent at Mayflower Wind is greater, however. Aside from electrical equipment and emergency systems, it also involves inter-array cables, which Semco will provide.

Moreover, the order is literally bigger. Including the foundation, the new substation will weigh 7,700 tons against 4,500 tons at Vineyard Wind. Initially, the projects are equally large, about 800 MW. Meanwhile, the Mayflower Wind consortium also has a portion of estimated 400 MW remaining from the same leasing area, and the transformer station will thus be installed with a capacity of 1,200 MW.

To be delivered in 2024

What the combined order amounts to in financial terms goes unmentioned. But comparing with historical prices, a substation of such a caliber will cost more than EUR 130 million.

"Semco and Bladt’s strong track record of providing competitive turnkey offshore wind electrical infrastructure is a door opener in the market. The Mayflower Wind project provides a unique opportunity to firmly establish our companies as highly experienced pioneers in the nascent and promising US offshore wind industry," says Semco Senior VP of Renewables Carsten Nielsen.

The work will commence this month, while Bladt is to deliver the substation in 2024. The wind farm is expected operational from "the mid-2020s".

Delayed start

So far, Mayflower Wind has been limping slightly on its way to the starting block. The contract between Shell/EDPR and Massachusetts distribution companies should actually have been signed in mid-December, but disagreements on "key conditions" postponed the signing.

The new deadline was this past Friday. On Tuesday, the federal state's RE agency, Massachusetts Clean Energy, issued a statement saying the last contracts were in place. It didn't announce the project's price, however, which was presented as the hitherto lowest one for a US offshore wind farm. This is now expected to happen no later than Feb. 10, the state's deadline for approving the contracts.

While the main suppliers for one of Mayflower's key components have now been named, Shell and EDPR have yet to announce the project's turbine supplier, among others. According to the bidding material, Mayflower Wind expects to use wind turbines of 10-15 MW in capacity with rotors of 170-230 meters in diameter.

English Edit: Jonas Sahl Jørgensen

US offshore wind contract delayed 

Shell-EDPR JV wins Massachusetts wind tender  

Bladt Industries lands big US offshore wind deal 

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