Maritime emergency fleet scoops £100m worth of new contracts

North Star chief executive Matthew Gordon with an emergency support vessel behind him

North Star chief executive Matthew Gordon - Credit: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media

A maritime emergency response fleet is celebrating a raft of new contracts totalling more than £100m.

North Star Shipping has a large facility in Lowestoft - after Boston Putford Offshore Safety became part of the group in 2019 - and also operates sites in Aberdeen and Newcastle.

Its latest contracts are with new and existing clients operating on the UK Continental Shelf such as offshore oil and gas platforms, offshore wind operators and tankers.

The 135-year--old company  - which describes itself as the North Sea's largest emergency response vessel operator with 41 emergency response rescue vessels (ERRVs) - says its ERRV order book is the most sizeable in recent years. 

Its fleet is currently assigned to support 50 offshore oil and gas installations in the region around the clock.

It employs 1,400 staff across its three UK sites - including 140 deck and engineering cadets - and has undertaken a sustainability study across its 47-strong fleet on decarbonising and increasing its operational performance. It has also invested a six-figure sum in digitising its fleet.

Chief executive Matthew Gordon said: “Winning these significant ERRV contracts worth £100m demonstrates the industry’s ongoing confidence in our highly effective and reliable fleet which continues to provide a safe place in case of an incident for the thousands of people working out at sea on oil and gas assets every hour of every day, solidly across the year.

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“North Star has supported the offshore energy sector for the past 40 years," he added.

"I’m proud to say that we have never left any client’s offshore workforce unsupported, ensuring there is always a vessel on standby to enable any crew changes, help to replenish stores on the installation, or support regular maintenance.

“The North Sea is still a very competitive landscape, and we recognise the need for continual investment in our fleet and services to ensure we deliver value and efficiencies to remain market leading. As part of this, we have looked to optimise our operations with a new maritime fleet management system and begun the process of decarbonising our entire fleet.”

Last year, North Star entered the UK’s offshore wind market providing service operation vessels (SOVs) to transport technicians to offshore wind farms and accommodate them for extended periods of time. It also announced its new owner as global private markets firm Partners Group.

“The offshore wind sector is on an upwards trajectory across Europe, and we are in a very strong position to capitalise on our growing momentum to secure further new business in this sector," said Mr Gordon.

"At the same time, we remain focused on ensuring we deliver the same high standard of services and support our North Sea operator clients are accustomed to.”