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Harland & Wolff Awarded of Major Wind Turbine Generator Fabrication Contract

16th April 2021
The eight WTG jacket foundations will principally be conducted at Harland and Wolff’s newly acquired Methil facilities in Scotland
The eight WTG jacket foundations will principally be conducted at Harland and Wolff’s newly acquired Methil facilities in Scotland

Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree has announced it has been awarded a contract by Saipem Limited for the fabrication and load-out of eight wind turbine generator (WTG) jacket foundations.

The jacket foundations will service the EDF Renewables and ESB owned Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Farm project located in the outer Firth of Forth in Scotland. The contract schedule is due to commence from 1 July 2021 and is anticipated to create around 290 direct and indirect jobs.

The works for fabrication, consolidation and load-out of the eight WTG jacket foundations will principally be conducted at Harland and Wolff’s newly acquired Methil facilities in Scotland. Should there be an opportunity to further optimise the works programme and make the contract more cost-effective, Harland & Wolff and Saipem will work jointly to spread additional workstreams within the contract across its three other sites in Belfast, Arnish and Appledore.

With its unrivalled UK fabrication facilities, Harland & Wolff’s multi-site approach can reduced fabrication timelines by as much as 30% - offering project developers a faster route to project monetisation and de-risking fabrication projects by spreading work across three distinct but close-proximity geographies.

Harland & Wolff’s four sites offer a combined footprint of over 334.6 hectares, with well over 72,000m² of undercover fabrication capacity. Belfast comprises two of the largest drydocks in the UK, second largest in Europe, each at 356 metres and 556 metres in length whilst Arnish boasts the largest fabrication hall in Europe. Both the Arnish and Methil sites offer 580,000m² of total site area and 24,000 tonnes of quayside load-out capabilities, boasting an annual throughput tonnage estimated at over 100,000 tonnes.

John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata, commented: “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.

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 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. This will enable us to spread workstreams across our facilities to drive down costs, deliver against tight schedules and, crucially, align ourselves to the government’s goal of providing wind generated power to all homes in the UK by 2030.

I am confident that this is only the beginning of a stream of projects in our pipeline that 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.”

Harland & Wolff is a wholly-owned subsidiary of InfraStrata plc (AIM: INFA), a London Stock Exchange-listed firm focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset life-cycle management.

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry. Its Belfast yard is 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 addition to Harland & Wolff, it owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

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