SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies are celebrating the arrival of the first jacket superstructures for what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.
The delivery of the frames, which will anchor Seagreen’s 114 turbines to the seabed, marks a “major step forward” for the North Sea development.
Global Energy Group’s Port of Nigg took receipt of the jackets ahead of their installation about 16 miles off the Scottish coast, near Angus.
Seaway 7, the development’s main contractor, was also in attendance.
The “landmark” kickstarts the upcoming campaign to install all 114 wind turbine foundations at the offshore project site – work is due to begin in October.
After the jacket foundations are mounted, Vestas V164-10 megawatt (MW) turbines will be positioned on each of the bases.
Due to last for about a year, the installation campaign will support up to 141 skilled jobs – about 50 of them new – at Port of Nigg.
Workers at the facility will be responsible for marshalling, storage, and logistics for the foundation components.
SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction of Seagreen, supported by TotalEnergies, and will operate the development.
Once complete in 2023, the 1.1 gigawatt offshore wind farm will be “Scotland’s largest”, and the “world’s deepest”, fixed-bottom offshore wind farm.
Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables said: “This is a landmark occasion and a fantastic opportunity to draw attention to not only the progress that the Seagreen project is making but also the benefits that Scotland’s largest wind farm is bringing to Scotland’s economy and supply chain.
“At SSE Renewables we’re proud to be leading the construction of Seagreen and the benefits it is bringing to Scotland. The jobs boost at Port of Nigg associated with the installation of Seagreen’s foundations is great for the local area and the Highlands as a whole and builds on our excellent track record at SSE Renewables of supply chain support in Scotland.”
A contract to fabricate the first 30 jackets was awarded to UAE-headquartered firm Lamprell in June 2020.
That was followed up a few months after by news that a Chinese yard had secured a deal to manufacture the remaining 84 jackets for the project.
The decision to send the work overseas drew criticism from unions, with Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) also in the running for the work.
At the time, SSE Renewables said the gap between the two bids was “too significant to close”.
BiFab, which owned yards in Methil, Burntisland and Arnish, collapsed into administration late last year.
Steve Rose, Director of HSE at TotalEnergies E&P UK, said: “We’re delighted that the Seagreen project has reached this milestone. To see these jackets ready to be installed and become part of Scotland’s largest wind farm is a real thrill.
“The Seagreen offshore wind farm shows TotalEnergies’ ambition to accelerate its transition to a broad energy company. We’ve been investing in Scotland for fifty years and offshore wind projects such as Seagreen shows how this relationship is beginning an exciting new chapter.”
Also on hand to welcome the jackets was Lloyd Duthie, managing director for EPCI projects at Seaway 7.
The company is managing the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of Seagreen’s 114 wind turbine generator foundations and approximately 186 miles of associated inter-array cables.
Mr Duthie said: “Today is a significant milestone for everyone involved in constructing Seagreen, as well as Scotland’s communities, who will benefit from its renewable energy. Seaway 7 has been active in the UK Renewables sector for over a decade and are pleased to continue supporting the ongoing energy transition in Scotland from our office in Aberdeen.”
Chief operating officer for Global Energy Group, Ian Cobban said: “We are delighted to welcome the jackets for the Seagreen project to our Port of Nigg facility. We are in the process of constructing an impressive, dedicated ring crane on our quayside to enable the loadout of these structures, supported by our onsite logistics and vessel support teams.
“The Seagreen jackets mark the 3rd project of this kind to be carried out from the Port of Nigg, highlighting our continued focus on developing the site to support the future of the UK Offshore wind market. We look forward to working closely with all parties in the successful execution of the storage, marshalling and loadout of the jackets before their onward journey to the field.”