Highlands & Islands

Crane vessel begins work on Beatrice wind farm

Heavy lift ship Image copyright Port of Cromarty Firth
Image caption The heavy lift ship Stanislav Yudin

A massive ship is being used in the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Project in the Outer Moray Firth.

Seaway Heavy Lifting's Stanislav Yudin has a 2,500-tonne, 110m (360ft) revolving crane.

It is also equipped with hydraulic hammers which are being used for installing piles needed for the jacket substructures of the offshore wind turbines.

The ship, which had been berthed at Port of Cromarty in Invergordon, has accommodation for 151 personnel and a helicopter heli-deck.

Ship installing first cluster of foundation piles Image copyright Seaway Heavy Lifting
Image caption The first cluster of foundation piles were installed on Sunday

The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited is being constructed in the Moray Firth at a cost of £2.6bn. Energy firm SSE is among the scheme's investors.

A total of 84 turbines are to be installed by Seaway Heavy Lifting.

The first cluster of foundation piles were installed on Sunday.

The Nigg Energy Park, also on the Cromarty Firth, is also being used for the construction of the wind farm.

Fife-based Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) is manufacturing offshore jacket substructures for the scheme at its yards in Arnish on the Isle of Lewis and Burntisland and Methil in Fife.

Noel Cummins, SSE's major projects liaison manager, said the installation of the foundation piles was among a number of developments in the project.

He said: "Renovation of the iconic Thomas Telford buildings in Wick, which will become our long term operations and maintenance base, is well underway and offshore construction began this weekend, culminating in the successful installation of the first cluster of foundation piles.

"In Moray, we're also making good progress at our substation in Blackhillock and at our works along the export cable route from near Portgordon to the Blackhillock substation."

Image copyrighted.

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