Saipem has completed foundation installation works at the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind project off Fife.
Developed by EDF Renewables and ESB, the 450-MW wind project is being built around 9 miles off the East Neuk of Fife.
Saipem (MIL:SPM) secured a contract from NnG’s joint venture company in 2019 covering engineering and installation work – its “first turnkey project” in the offshore wind farm sector.
The scope of work included the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of 54 steel foundation jackets, two further steel jackets for offshore substations and the transportation and installation of associated topsides.
Jackets were all designed by Saipem’s engineering centres in the UK and Italy and manufactured at Saipem-owned yards in Karimun, Indonesia and Arbatax, Italy.
However, it has faced considerable headwinds in delivery. In January 2022 the Milan-headquartered company issued a profit warning – understood to be related in part to the NnG contract – blaming rising supply chain costs and poor project margins.
Other supply chain issues were compounded following the collapse of supplier BiFab –which was initially to supply some jackets for the development – and later the termination of a contract with its successor Harland & Wolff last year.
Late delivery of the jackets in question saw the completion of the project pushed back from 2023 into next year, with a new Contract for Difference (CfD) start date of June 2024.
The Italian contractor said its Saipem 3000 vessel completed installation of foundation piles in “late summer” at the same time as the Saipem 7000 completed drilling and the installation of jackets, “further consolidating” its track record for North Sea offshore wind operations.
NnG project director Matthias Haag said: “This has been a landmark project for everyone involved and we’re grateful to Saipem for the important role they have played in getting NnG to a point where we are now installing turbines and expect to generate first power shortly and see the project complete early next year”.