Siemens Energy has awarded a major contract to supply the second substation platform for the world's largest offshore wind farm to McNulty Offshore Construction based in South Shields. The multi-million pound project began in January this year and is expected to be completed in May 2010.
Specialising in offshore fabrication for the oil and gas industry, McNulty will be tasked with constructing an offshore substation to be housed within a platform, located 16 miles off the Suffolk coast, connecting to an onshore substation at Sizewell. Generating enough electricity to power over 415,000 homes, the Greater Gabbard development also includes 140 wind turbines which will effectively cut CO₂ emissions by one million tonnes a year according to experts' predictions.
Siemens is supplying the 140 3.6 MW wind turbines and also connecting the wind farm to the national grid. Siemens' renewable energy project management team, based in Manchester, is driving the project. The team will be assisted by Siemens engineers based in Monkton, South Tyneside, who will be managing the engineering contract for the platform.
Worth a combined value of around €884 million, Siemens was awarded the Greater Gabbard contract in June last year. Renewable energy is an integral part of the Government's longer-term aim of reducing CO₂ emissions by setting a target of generating 20% of the UK's electricity supply from renewable energy by 2020.
"Greater Gabbard will go a long way towards meeting the Government's renewable energy targets and together with a number of domestic offshore wind farm projects helps position Siemens as the UK's leading provider of offshore wind farms and offshore grid connections" says John Willcock, director of Siemens Energy Major Projects.
"Siemens continues to be a major employer in the North East, so securing a highly skilled partner in the region is a priority for us. Based in South Tyneside with the knowledge, skills and expertise to exceed the project's challenging targets, McNulty is a natural partner. The project will not only provide an immediate stimulus to the local economy but also generate growth in an emerging sector which relies on the valuable skills of North East workers" adds John.
Steve Keyworth, McNulty Offshore Construction's managing director comments that "the project with Siemens marks a new era for our business, opening up huge opportunities in the renewable energy and nuclear industries globally, securing jobs in the region now and providing new job opportunities as the renewable energy sector evolves in the future".