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Semco Maritime arrives in port on back of groundbreaking deal

STARTING small but with a desire to grow, Semco Maritime has arrived in Grimsby. 

Semco Maritime arrives in port on back of groundbreaking deal

The offshore substation specialist, a global giant in engineering, procurement, construction and installation in some of the harshest environments, is delivering the world’s biggest contract of its type for Dong Energy’s Hornsea One offshore wind farm.

The £10 million contract to provide the vital equipment within the huge rig-like superstructures that link the vast arrays to the mainland via high voltage cables is underway in Denmark, and with more phases to come the executive team behind the move are confident in being a long term feature of the port.

Hosting a reception within Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, Bjarne Christensen, director of service operations for wind, oil and gas in the £191 million turnover business, said: “Semco Maritime has been working in the wind business for many, many years. 

“We have been serving offshore wind out of Denmark, but based on the tremendous activity over here, and the fact we will deliver three substations in a row for Hornsea Project One from the start of 2018, we need to be here. The three substations for Dong are the very first time three have been built is a row, for the same project, ever. It is incredible.

Following Hornsea One there is Hornsea Two, Hornsea Three, and then who knows, this will be the largest zone anywhere in the world. Based on our very close co-operation with Dong we needed to be here to support them with the commissioning, technical transformation and ad hoc services.”

Bladt Industries is fabricating the giant substations, ahead of the complex installation work. That will continue with commissioning once shipped to the site and installed, 120km off the East Yorkshire coast.

Not that Semco’s work ends there. “This industry is still quite young, Mr Christensen said. 

“We do see upgrades in the very first years, we see requests for modifications and we will be there to support our customers.”

Semco has been involved with one third of all offshore substation builds in the industry globally, and more than 50 per cent in near neighbour Germany. The first was installed in Denmark in 1999. “The size has gone up five to six times, and it will continue,” Mr Christensen enthused.

He is already very positive about the town, thanks to a positive welcome given by the sector’s growing community.

Representatives from Dong Energy and North East Lincolnshire Council joined GFDE at the reception.

“It is a really exciting time,” Mr Christensen said. “Everybody is here, everyone that has got something to do with offshore operations and maintenance and offshore services, they are all now in Grimsby. We need to be here as well.

“We start very humble, with a modular site office, but that’s a good start. Martyn Boyers (chief executive of GFDE) has already offered us some more square metres, and we are very hopeful to be reaching out. We are definitely looking to grow, and we are very encouraged by the welcoming approach.”  

Semco already has offices in the UK in Aberdeen and Invergordon, with a large set down yard in the latter.

The initial modular building forms part of a mini village on the Port of Grimsby East estate, between Grimsby Fish Market and Old Lock Keepers Cottage, now home to All NRG.

It comes as major infrastructure changes continue to take shape on the docks, with roads re-routed and a new one-way system in place as Dong Energy’s enlarged footprint emerges after Eastside Road was absorbed and so too the land where the old Cosalt HQ once stood.

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