Shipyard in £15m deal to build wind farm substation
The reinvention of one of Northern I"reland's most famous companies has continued apace with news of a multi-million pound contract to help build a wind farm substation in the North Sea.
Harland & Wolff in Belfast has been awarded the deal, thought to be worth around £15m, by energy company E.On.
It will build substation jackets and piles which help make up the foundations of the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, which is based a few miles off the east Yorkshire Coast
The latest announcement marks a further move into the renewables sector for the company – it's been involved in the construction of both wind and tidal turbines – which made its name as a ship builder.
It has built jackets for a number of offshore oil and gas platforms, most recently for Norweigian company Kvaener, but the E.On work will be its first on the foundation of wind farm substations and it's an area the company is expecting to grow.
Harland and Wolff Chief Executive Officer Robert J Cooper said the firm has a growing list of projects in the sector.
"After a long series of successfully completed offshore wind projects, Harland and Wolff are determined to continue demonstrating that we are the construction partner of choice," he said.
"Harland and Wolff enjoy a great working relationship with E.On, having worked previously on the Robin Rigg offshore wind farm together.
"We're looking forward to continuing to develop this relationship." The jackets and piles which Harland & Wolff are working on will be substantial at 1,300 tons and are expected to be ready for installation in the first quarter of 2014 while the Humber Gateway wind farm project is due to be completed in 2015.
It will be able to provide enough power for 170,000 homes when complete, E.On Project Manager Matthew Swanwick said.
"Humber Gateway is a significant step in our strategic aim to deliver cleaner and better energy, by offering innovative energy services and technologies," he said.
"Generating wind power out at sea is a real technical challenge, both during the construction and operational phases of projects, and that is why it so important to work with reliable and experienced fabricators.
He added: "Harland and Wolff is a well-proven supplier and we look forward to a successful project."Recently completed jacket or foundation framework which was built in H&W and since installed in the North Sea as an offshore electricity transformer for wind farms