Norwegian oil and gas services player Aibel and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have won major contracts for the third phase of the giant Dogger Bank offshore wind project in the UK, which when completed will be the world’s largest with a capacity of 3.6 gigawatts.

Aibel has won the converter platform engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 1.2GW Dogger Bank C phase, while Hitachi ABB Power Grids has secured a deal for the grid connection.

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Converter platforms change incoming alternate current production from wind farms into direct current for export to shore via a high voltage direct current (HVDC) trunk line.

HVDC transmission cables are used for far offshore arrays as they have less electricity losses than direct current lines.

"With this award, we once again confirm our position as a preferred supplier in the European offshore wind segment and strengthen our role in the ongoing energy industry transformation," said Aibel chief executive Mads Andersen.

Aibel had already been awarded a similar contract for the DolWin5 grid link in the German North Sea by Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT.

Hitachi ABB has been awarded a contract for the 130 kilometres HVDC third transmission link from Dogger Bank C in the North Sea to the UK mainland.

The new award extends the ongoing delivery of Dogger Bank A and B to include C. It is still subject to a financial close of the third phase, which is expected for late 2021.

"Together, with customers and partners, we are playing a key role in accelerating the energy transition," said Niklas Persson, managing director of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ grid integration business.

"HVDC technology contributes significantly towards a carbon-neutral energy future by enabling the integration of large-scale and remote renewable energy generation."

Japan's Hitachi and Switzerland's ABB last summer completed their Hitachi ABB Power Grids joint venture, a $10 billion transmission giant with a mission to chase lucrative orders in the booming global offshore wind market.

Norwegian oil major Equinor and UK utility SSE Renewables have jointly developed Dogger Bank in a 50-50% joint venture.

Italian major Eni will take a 20% stake in the first two phases, which is still subject to regulatory and lender approvals.

The giant Dogger Bank wind farms are expected to produce enough electricity to power six million homes in the UK when completed in 2026.

The massive project is key to the UK’s ambition to build up 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

GE Renewable Energy has already been named preferred wind turbine supplier for all three phases of Dogger Bank.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge on 17 February, 20201.)