Business

H&W secures wind turbines order - but work will be done in Scotland

2BPMF4J Aerial view of Burntisland Fabrications Ltd ( BiFab) yard at Methil in Fife, Scotland, UK
Gary McDonald Business Editor

HARLAND & Wolff has been awarded a lucrative contracts to build eight giant wind turbines for Italian oilfield services company Saipem which will be used in the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

And the boss of the Belfast shipyard's new owner InfraStrata says the contract paves the way for the execution and delivery of future fabrication contracts, a number of which are already in advanced negotiations.

H&W will build and load-out eight wind turbine generator (WTG) jacket foundations which will service the EDF Renewables and ESB-owned Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project located in the outer Firth of Forth.

The contract schedule is due to commence in July and is anticipated to create around 290 direct and indirect jobs.

But the work will principally be conducted at Harland and Wolff's newly-acquired Methil facilities in Scotland.

However, should there be an opportunity to further optimise the works programme and make the contract more cost-effective, additional work will be spread across H&W's three other sites including Belfast.

John Wood, chief executive of InfraStrata, said: “We are delighted to have entered into this contract with Saipem, and I'm confident this is only the beginning of a stream of projects in our pipeline which we expect to come to fruition.

“We are hugely excited about the massive potential that this first contract has unlocked, and we look forward to working with Saipem to successfully deliver under it.”

He said the geographical proximity of InfraStrata's Methil facility to the North Sea makes it an ideal site for fabrication and load-out to wind farm projects such as this.

“More importantly, it validates our strategic vision of expanding the group's fabrication footprint into regions that are strategically located within proximity to major wind farm projects,” Mr Wood added.

As wholly-owned subsidiary of London-listed InfraStrata, Harland & Wolff's Belfast yard remains one of Europe's largest heavy engineering facilities, with deep water access, two of Europe's largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls.

As a result of the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August 2020, the company has been able to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets where this will be significant demand.

In February this year InfraStrata acquired the assets of two Scottish-based yards along the east and west coasts. Now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish), these facilities will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, oil and gas and defence sectors.

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