The UK’s leading vessel operator North Star has boosted its senior team with a strategic appointment in Hamburg, Germany, to establish its credentials in-country as it looks to grow the business and galvanise its offshore wind growth ambitions across Europe.
Caspar Blum has been appointed into the newly created role of European renewables lead. Based at the Hanseatic Trade Center at the Am Sandtorkai 74 building, he will be the main focal point for the business within the region, with a direct report into North Star’s CEO, Matthew Gordon at the firm’s HQ in Aberdeen, UK.
His appointment will support the business to realise significant opportunities in the region as more countries seek energy supply security through new investment in offshore wind. The 135-year-old organisation is well positioned to leverage its proven on-time shipbuilding delivery and seafaring expertise to provide its VARD designed, high-quality hybrid-electric service operations vessels (SOVs) to developers across the region. Developed with comfort and operability as priorities, its fleet provides hotel standard accommodation and a logistics hub for in field technicians working on the wind farm’s construction phase, as well as supporting operations and maintenance campaigns once operational.
Caspar has more than a decade’s experience in the offshore sector and joins the company after five years at Amplemann Operations B.V. While there, he rose through the ranks, spending 18 months as area manager sales & business development Europe & Africa. As its market lead, he successfully developed and executed strategies for a number of the company’s SOV product lines, helping the technology firm to exceed revenue targets for 2022.
Prior to this, he worked at Baltic Diver Germany as a tender manager for a couple of years following a two-year stint as a shipbroker in Aberdeen for GRS Group.
On taking up his role, Caspar said: “I am thrilled to embark on this new professional chapter as North Star’s European renewables lead in Hamburg. The firm’s commitment to being an offshore infrastructure support services leader aligns perfectly with my passion for renewables, innovation, and sustainability. I look forward to working with the team and putting my expertise and capabilities to good use driving renewable energy solutions to support our clients across Europe.”
North Star aims to increase its fleet with the addition of 40 renewables ships by 2040. It has recently taken delivery of its first two of four ordered SOVs (the Grampian Tyne and Grampian Derwent); all are bound for 10-year minimum charters in the North Sea. The company has also invested in its first of up to four commissioning SOVs (CSOVs). The first two of VARD 4 22 design, with new methanol ready hybrid-propulsion solutions and an increased number of single cabins, are due for delivery in 2025.
North Star CEO Matthew Gordon added: “Hamburg is at the epicentre of European offshore wind operations and therefore the ideal place to start expanding our team to support our fleet growth objectives. With our high quality, hybrid electric CSOV and SOV fleet expanding and investment in place for further newbuilds, finding an experienced and well-connected senior team member to spearhead our ambitious growth plans on the ground has become an essential part of our plans.
“Caspar has all the right attributes to help progress our business in Europe and is a fantastic addition to our team. He has a strong understanding of the market and SOVs, as well as being well connected and having excellent business acumen.”
North Star is backed by Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, acting on behalf of its clients.