500 new jobs as harbour area buoyed by contracts
Over 500 people will be employed on the Blackford Dolphin project when it sails into town this winter, providing work in a thriving area of Belfast.
Harland and Wolff is carving a new niche in the offshore and renewables markets and the harbour area is fast becoming a go-to location for global firms.
James Lappin, Harland and Wolff's project manager, said that prior to the rig arrival, the firm will have a dedicated team working in conjunction with Dolphin, planning every aspect of equipment, manpower, sub-contractors, materials and components.
Graeme Murray, Dolphin Drilling managing director, gave Belfast his vote of confidence.
"We are pleased to have entered into this agreement with Harland and Wolff," he said.
"I am confident that both the H&W and Dolphin project teams will leverage on the close co-operation and strong teamwork to achieve the timely completion of the project."
Close to the Harland and Wolff site, ScottishPower and Danish energy giant DONG energy sub-let a 50-acre terminal, the largest single investment in Belfast Harbour's 400-year history and the first purpose-built offshore wind installation and pre-assembly harbour in the UK or Ireland.
Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer of ScottishPower, said that the wind terminal assembly port at Belfast Harbour has created a fantastic opportunity for further inward investment.
Built by local construction company Farrans, the project took 15 months, one million tonnes of stones and 30,000 tonnes of concrete to complete.
More than 100 turbines will be shipped from the new terminal to the West of Duddon Sands project, which will be one of the world's largest offshore wind farms when it is commissioned in 2014.2014
Deadline for completion offshore wind farm at West of Duddon Sands