MEMBER NEWS: VARD orders SMST mission equipment for North Star’s newbuild CSOVs

September 4, 2023
MEMBER NEWS: VARD orders SMST mission equipment for North Star’s newbuild CSOVs

SMST has been awarded a contract by Norwegian shipbuilder VARD for the supply of two sets of mission equipment for North Star’s newbuild Commissioning Service Operation Vessels (CSOVs). The agreement also has an option for equipping two additional ships with the offshore systems of SMST, that guarantee safe transfer for technicians working in the field and ensure efficient handling of cargo on board.

SMST is delivering a gangway (Telescopic Access Bridge L-Series) combined with tower and elevator, and Motion Compensated Crane (M-Series) to each CSOV for the UK firm, which operates the largest UK-owned SOV fleet in the North Sea. The SMST equipment underlines the Vard 4 22 design that has been optimized for low fuel consumption, maximum uptime, and good seakeeping characteristics to ensure comfortable conditions on board. “These design principles are incorporated in the high quality equipment that we design and build, everything in-house”, says Jochem Tuinstra, Sales Manager at SMST, “The gangways will also have a Lloyds Register Notation, proving SMST’s focus on constantly increasing quality standards.”

North Star’s new CSOVs takes the firm another step closer in its ambition of adding 40 SOVs to its fleet by 2040 to support the growing UK and European offshore wind sectors. “North Star is committed to building a versatile and industry leading service capability that meets the needs of our renewables clients. Collaborating with innovative and reliable technology partners that offer high-quality solutions and can deliver within the set term is therefore key to our success,” states James Bradford, North Star’s Chief Technology Officer. “SMST, with its extensive track record of supplying walk-to-work and lifting equipment, meets all these objectives ensuring our tonnage and operations remain worldclass.”

Thomas Brathaug, Project Manager in VARD comments: “We are pleased to be working with SMST again, especially since SMST is a trusted company delivering reliable solutions. With the great cooperation we have had on previous projects, we are confident that we together will deliver a top-notch product.”

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise