Saipem's Giant Construction Vessel Starts Work on UK Offshore Wind Farm

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

One of the world’s largest offshore construction vessels Saipem 7000 has arrived 15km off the Fife coast to start the first phase of the offshore construction at the site of Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.

Under the contract awarded in November 2019, Saipem's scope of work for the wind farm project consists of the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of 54 steel foundation jackets for an equivalent number of wind turbines with a capacity of around 8 megawatts (MW) each, two steel foundation jackets for the offshore electrical substations and the transportation and installation of the relevant topsides.

The semi-submersible crane vessel Saipem 7000 will first install casings for piles, and will also work on preparing the seabed in advance of the arrival of the steel foundation jackets on which the 54 wind turbine generators and two offshore substations will be installed.

This enormous vessel is 197.5 meters long and can work in the most challenging weather conditions. It can carry out heavy lift operations up to 14,000 tonnes at sea.

The NnG offshore wind farm, owned by EDF Renewables and ESB, will supply enough electricity for around 375,000 homes and will have a capacity of c. 450 megawatts (MW). The operator expects the wind farm to offset over 400,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions each year. Full commissioning will complete in 2023.

Matthias Haag, NnG Project Director, said: “The construction phase of the NnG offshore wind farm is now well underway and many people will be able to see the S7000 starting construction work offshore. It will be visible from much of the East Neuk of Fife and from North Berwick and Dunbar.

"We have carefully considered the implications of COVID-19 and Scottish Government guidelines as the work gets underway offshore and for the continuing onshore works."

Guido d’Aloisio, Saipem Head of Offshore Renewable Business line, said: “It’s very important for Saipem to start offshore construction on the NnG offshore wind farm, a milestone for our new business line, and this positions Saipem as a key player in the offshore wind industry.

"Strict protocols and continuous monitoring of the situation will ensure that the health and safety of our employees, clients and partners are protected throughout our operations on the NnG project."

Saipem will supply and install the foundations for the turbines. It will also supply and install an additional two jackets for the offshore substations.

Onshore work continues on the project at various locations along the cable route which starts at Thorntonloch beach and finishes in the Lammermuir Hills.

Categories: Energy Vessels Offshore Wind Activity Renewables

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