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Offshore windfarm installation vessel arrives at Cammell Laird
A NEW offshore wind farm installation vessel, the first of its kind in the UK, has arrived at Cammell Laird's Birkenhead shipyard in preparation for its first operational activity at Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.
The Friedrich Ernestine, built and designed by RWE Innogy to install wind turbines across its European offshore portfoilio, arrived at the yard for a final fit-out on Saturday.
At 100-metres long and 49 metres wide, the €100m EURO vessel is one of the largest of its kind in the world, capable of transporting and installing up to three wind turbine foundations or four turbines in the multi-megawatt category.
It will be used to install wind turbine foundations, carrying three sets of components consisting of a monopile and transition piece on each trip in and out of our base harbour port facility in Birkenhead.
The vessel has been designed and built in both South Korea and Europe and represents a significant investment into the offshore renewables sector.
At the offshore construction site, it turns into a jack-up rig, from which foundations and wind turbines can be installed.
Cammell Laird’s managing director Linton Roberts said: “The arrival of this new generation vessel marks a significant moment for Cammell Laird showcasing our ability to work at the forefront of the wind energy sector.
“Working in partnership with the RWE on site team, the vessel will on arrival undergo works at the yard to mobilise her with project specific equipment to start her extremely important work in the Irish Sea.
“This work is part of a much broader project to support the construction and longer term operation of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm, throughout its lifespan of at least 25 years.
"The contract enforces our strong commitment to the renewables market and our desire to undertake complex and demanding projects.
“Cammell Laird is now in a robust position to take a leading role in Britain’s wind energy revolution.
“We have a unique blend of first class infrastructure, skills, land and location. Furthermore, we have invested heavily in our facilities to support the assembly, storage and mobilisation of all the components required for the installation of a windfarm.”
At 576MW, Gwynt y Môr is one of the largest offshore wind farms currently in construction in Europe.
It is a shared investment between partners RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München GmbH and Siemens.
Offshore construction at Gwynt y Môr is well underway more than eight miles offshore, with ten foundations and the two offshore substations now in place.
Its construction has already supported hundreds of jobs and generated more than £80million economic prosperity for Welsh businesses.
Once fully operational, it will be responsible for least another 100 long-term, skilled engineering jobs throughout its operational lifetime.
Cammell Laird Chief Executive John Syvret CBE said: “RWE and the Gwyn ty mor Offshore Wind Farm have been instrumental in Cammell Laird establishing an important foothold in the Renewable Energy market place.
“It has also provided a welcome boost to the North Wales and Merseyside economies and has allowed the company to showcase its world class management, workforce and infrastructure.
“The company’s strategic aim is to see further growth in this sector by winning large scale engineering projects, which in turn will provide long term employment opportunities for our local communities, workforce and supply chain.
"Our strategic partnership with Peel Ports further provides access to a network of port and engineering facilities across the UK, which gives Cammell Laird the ability to provide a comprehensive range of marine and engineering services to our customers nationally and internationally.”