Offshore Wind Power
In October 2012 Cammell Laird announced that £10m has been invested in infrastructure upgrades at the business to help transform it into one of Britain’s prime hubs for the offshore wind farm sector.
The company is ideally located on the River Mersey overlooking Liverpool waterfront to service the Irish Sea windfarm expansion and other windfarms around Europe.
The investment forms part of an agreement the company has signed with Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Limited. The agreement sees Cammell Laird used as a base port for the construction of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm in the Irish Sea. The port area covers around 14 hectares 32 acres and includes a quay of 230 metres. It is from here that the foundations for 160 wind turbines will be preassembled, loaded and shipped to the 576 megawatt wind farm in Liverpool Bay positioned around 18 kilometres off the Welsh coast.
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.
RWE is building the Gwynt y Môr wind farm using , amongst other vessels, its own offshore installation vessel the Friedrich Ernestine which arrived at Cammell Laird in August 2012 to begin mobilization work.
Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret CBE said the company is now in a robust position to take a leading role in Britain’s wind energy revolution.
“Working with RWE we have undertaken a programme of infrastructure investments. This includes the creation of much deeper berths meaning that our quays can accommodate the largest wind farm vessels operating in the Irish Sea. Additionally, a heavy load out quay has been completed. It is one of very few quaysides constructed to handle weights of up to 5,000 tonnes. With wind farm monopiles and transition pieces weighing up to 700 tonnes each, and substations up to 2000 tonnes the yard now has the infrastructure, location, skills and capacity to support wind farm construction across Europe.”
Mr Syvret said to further expand the facilities offered by Cammell Laird, fabrication is currently underway on a new crew transfer pontoon. This will mean that the upgraded area can handle vessels, heavy equipment and crew from one central and accessible location.
“The new infrastructure will work together with our existing fabrication and assembly facilities to offer the wind energy sector the complete engineering solution from one location,” he said. “Cammell Laird will further be able to fabricate monopiles and transition pieces which can then be processed and despatched from the site.”
Cammell Laird’s world class facilities include its heavy engineering module construction hall which is one of the biggest in Europe and which dominates the Wirral skyline. It is 16000m2 45m high with 400t craneage capacity.
Mr Syvret said the work is part of a much broader focus to support the construction of Gwynt y Môr wind farm, and position itself for new opportunities in the long term.