GOOD progress is being made on Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, owner E.on has reported as it looks to the next phase of works.
The company, one of the big six energy providers, is partway through the construction of the farm – the closest to the mouth of the River Humber – having established a purpose-built base on Grimsby’s North Quay for the engineering works.
It will be used for ongoing operations and maintenance throughout the life of the 73-turbine 219MW farm, once the build-out is completed, next year.
The first turbine foundation was installed in September, one of an initial phase of 24 bright yellow mono-pile base pieces now embedded in the 25 square km site, bordered by the Humber shipping channel and the Easington North Sea gas transportation pipeline, 8km off the East Yorkshire coast.
A spokesperson for E.on said: “We have made good progress on our construction programme for the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, including near-completion of construction of our onshore substation at Saltend and the two underground onshore cables to the landfall at Easington.
“Installation of the first phase of 24 foundations is now complete. A second phase of foundations is scheduled for April 2014.
“The two offshore export cables have also been installed from the landfall to the future offshore substation location.”
Already fabricated, the offshore substation platform will also be delivered this year, with cabling between the array of turbines also planned for the early part of this year.
Jack-up vessel MPI Discovery has been deployed for the first phase of foundation installing, with MPI Adventure likely to be used in April.
As previously reported, a total of 50 direct jobs have been created, with 15 shore-based staff working at the new site, together with 35-offshore maintenance workers.
It follows the construction of Lynn, Inner Dowsing and Lincs, with Dong Energy’s Westermost Rough – a 35-turbine scheme just north of the Humber Gateway – to be built out this year.
Enthusiasm from companies in the area to embrace the new industry is clear. A special meet-the-supplier event being held in northern Lincolnshire on Thursday for the Westermost Rough project was quickly fully booked, with organisers looking to extend the invitation.
GeoSea, part of the Belgian DEME group of companies, is a world leader in marine engineering, dredging and environmental works, and from February to June will be working on the construction phase, from a base in Grimsby.
The company has identified a number of specific requirements, either direct or required as a contingency, including: steelworks; hydraulics; marine electrical; bunkering of fuel, water, food and other supplies; safety equipment; crew transfer; divers and sub-sea support; vessels; ships agents; technical water analysis and grouting and professional services.
Team Humber Marine Alliance host the event at Forest Pines Hotel, Broughton, with project managers Jan van de Velde and Evi Smets in attendance.
Chairman Mark O’Reilly said he had met those involved in Frankfurt, Germany. Explaining how the event came about, he said: “They were keen to meet and understand how everything works and the supply chain available. We need to keep doing this, getting out and putting ourselves in front of the people who are at the forefront of the works.”
The event takes place from 8.30am.