Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

£12m wind farm contract to safeguard 350 jobs

Wind farm (generic)
Image caption The wind farm is expected generate power for 400,000 households

A Fife company has won a £12m contract to design and build two substations for one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

Burntisland Fabrications Limited (BiFab) has signed the contract with RWE npower renewables for its Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm off Wales.

The £2bn wind farm will have 160 wind turbines, 10 miles off the north Wales coast, near Colwyn Bay and Llandudno.

A total of 350 jobs will be safeguarded as a result.

BiFab will work alongside Irish shipyard Harland & Wolff, which was appointed by the project's electrical systems contractor, Siemens, to design and manufacture the two substations.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "This is great news for BiFab and its talented workforce in Fife and on Lewis.

"Together with our huge natural renewables resource, Scotland has decades of offshore energy engineering expertise that can play a key role in meeting our renewable energy and carbon reduction targets."

John Robertson, BiFab managing director, said: "The BiFab team is delighted to have secured this major deal.

"It is our first project with RWE and we hope it will be the start of a long-term relationship with the company."

Safeguard jobs

He said work would start immediately, adding that the contract was due for completion in March 2012.

"BiFab will subcontract the design work to ODE London. The jacket structures that support the offshore substations will be fabricated at the BiFab Methil facility, securing employment for 350 staff, while the foundation piles that secure the jackets to the seabed will be manufactured by the BiFab Arnish facility at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis," he said.

"This will allow for the development of the facility of a pile manufacturing plant and will safeguard an additional 40 jobs."

The two offshore platform jackets will be installed in April 2012. This will enable the array cables carrying the generated electricity from the 160 wind turbines, to be connected to the offshore substations.

These, in turn, connect to 132KV export cables carrying the electricity to a beach landing point at Pensarn for onward transmission to the new electricity sub station at St Asaph.

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