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Harland & Wolff Wins First Contract to Build Offshore Wind Components

Harland & Wolff first offshore wind contract
The Methil facilites where acquired in late 2020 as InfraStrata sought to position for the offshore wind sector (InfraStrata)

Published Apr 16, 2021 4:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

Harland & Wolff, the storied shipbuilder, is continuing to make progress on the relaunch of its business refocused from the historic shipbuilding to take advantage of the emerging offshore wind industry. Its parent company InfraStrata announced the company has received its first contract to build components for a new wind farm being developed in the outer Firth of Forth in Scotland.

The contract valued at approximately $36 million is with Saipem, an Italian offshore engineering company, for the fabrication and load-out of eight of the project’s wind turbine generator foundation jackets. The fabrication work is scheduled to begin July 1 and principally be conducted at Harland & Wolff’s newly acquired Methil facilities in Scotland. Some work may also be carried out at the company’s other sites in Belfast, Arnish, and Appledore.

“We are delighted to have entered into this contract with Saipem and I believe that this contract paves the way for the execution and delivery of future fabrication contracts, a significant number of which are currently in advanced negotiations,” said John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata. “The geographical proximity of our Methil facility to the North Sea makes it an ideal site for fabrication and load-out to wind farm projects. I am confident that this is only the beginning of a stream of projects in our pipeline that we expect to come to fruition.”

The eight foundations will be components for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore Wind which is under development through a joint project owned by EDF Renewables and ESB. Offshore construction for NnG started in August 2020, with the installation of casings for the piles and preparing the seabed in advance of the arrival of the steel foundation jackets. The foundations which will be used to support and anchor NnG’s wind turbine generators to the seabed will be installed by Saipem. When completed, NnG will have the capacity to generate 450 MW to supply power for approximately 375,000 homes.

The awarding of the contract marks another step in the redevelopment of Harland & Wolff. InfraStrata acquired the assets of Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast from the administrator in December 2019 followed by additional acquisitions in 2020. The facilities at Methil along with Arnish were acquired at the end of 2020 from the administrators for Burntisland Fabrication representing what InfraStrata called “the final fabrication piece of its UK footprint.” In addition to prime waterfront sites for fabrication and loading, they pointed out at the time the proximity of the facilities to an array of wind farm projects currently ongoing and planned in the Irish Sea and the North Sea.

InfraStrata's strategy in addition to relaunching the Harland & Wolff business with a focus on repair work also calls for expanding the group’s fabrication footprint into regions that are strategically located close to major wind farm projects. InfraStrata is seeking to leverage the facilities to align with the government’s goal of providing wind-generated power to all homes in the UK by 2030.

Work for the NnG is being spread across several companies and sights mostly in Scotland. The Port of Dundee is supporting the project as NnG’s marine hub, the Port of Leith as the marshaling point for the pile casings, and planning permission was recently granted for an operation and maintenance base to be located at Eyemouth Harbour.