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Wind farm deal

Methil boost as Harland & Wolff wins jacket work

Burntisand Fabricators

Former BiFab yard will construct the jackets

Harland & Wolff will create 290 jobs at the former BiFab yard in Methill after securing a contract for wind turbine jackets on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore wind farm.

The announcement was made by NNG owner by EDF Renewables and ESB, which said InfraStrata, owner of Harland & Wolff, will carry out the fabrication and load-out of eight of the project’s wind turbine generator (WTG) foundation jackets.

Harland & Wolff will use its newly-acquired Methil facilities in Fife for the fabrication work.

Additional support may be provided as required by the company’s other facilities in Arnish, Appledore and Belfast with Saipem’s consent and should the need arise.

The foundations, used to support and anchor NnG’s WTGs to the seabed, are being supplied and installed by Saipem, a global solution provider in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Saipem will also supply and install an additional two jackets for the offshore substations. 

NnG is committed to utilising the Scottish supply chain and this work on the project is a further boost to the offshore wind industry in Scotland, providing new green jobs and manufacturing opportunities.

Offshore construction for NnG started in August last year with the installation of casings for the piles and preparing the seabed in advance of the arrival of the steel foundation jackets.

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Matthias Haag, NnG project director, said: “This is an important day, for the offshore wind sector in Scotland and for our project. When we announced our main contractors in 2019, we made clear our commitment to the Scottish supply chain and the role it has to play in the construction of NnG. 

“That’s why this contract signing is such good news. We are pleased the contract has been awarded to Harland & Wolff with the bulk of the work taking place in Scotland.

“With the Port of Dundee supporting the project as NnG’s marine hub, the Port of Leith as the marshalling point for the pile casings and planning permission recently granted for an Operations and Maintenance Base at Eyemouth Harbour, Harland & Wolff joining our project is yet further evidence of our commitment to Scotland.”

Mauro Piasere, Head of Offshore New Energies in Saipem’s E&C Offshore Division, commented: “The Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Farm is a key project for Saipem in an area of rising growth and potential such as the North Sea.

“The execution by InfraStrata stands to demonstrate the possibility for the North Sea fabrication industry to play a competitive role in the renewables market.

“Our vision is to create value in those countries where we operate and this collaboration with InfraStrata confirms this and allows us to contribute to the country’s system involving the local supply chain”.

John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata, commented: “This contract paves the way for the execution and delivery of future fabrication contracts, a significant number of which are currently in advanced negotiations. 

“The geographical proximity of our Methil facility to the North Sea makes it an ideal site for fabrication and load-out to wind farm projects such as this.

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“More importantly, it validates our strategic vision of expanding the Group’s fabrication footprint into regions that are strategically located within close proximity to major wind farm projects.

“This will enable us to spread workstreams across our facilities to drive down costs, deliver against tight schedules and, crucially, align ourselves to the government’s goal of providing wind generated power to all homes in the UK by 2030.

“I am confident that this is only the beginning of a stream of projects in our pipeline that we expect come to fruition. We are hugely excited about the massive potential that this first contract has unlocked, and we look forward to working with Saipem to successfully deliver under it.” 

NnG will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes and has a capacity of circa 450 megawatts (MW) of low carbon energy and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

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