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Port of Nigg takes delivery of massive offshore wind farm jackets for Moray East development

By Caroline McMorran

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A heavy lift vessel has arrived at Global Energy Group’s Port of Nigg with components for Scotland’s largest planned offshore wind farm in the outer Moray Firth.

MV Osprey, delivered the first eight of what will be 103 jacket structures for the 100-turbine Moray East Offshore Windfarm. The jacket structures will eventually be taken to the wind farm site in the Moray Firth for installation on the sea bed.

MV Osprey delivers jackets for Moray Firth East Wind Farm.
MV Osprey delivers jackets for Moray Firth East Wind Farm.

The electrical infrastructure, 100 turbines and three offshore substation platforms, will then be installed on top of the jackets.

Dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME Offshore awarded the port a multi-million pound contract to be the staging port for the construction of the 950mw wind farm, which will see three offshore substation platforms being installed

Oil service firm Global Energy Group, which took over the site in 2011 have invested over £50 million into the facilities at the port, including the new south quay and heavy plant and equipment such as cranes and low loaders (SPMT’s), to handle the large offshore wind structures.

Global chairman Roy MacGregor said: “It has always been our desire to make the best use of Nigg Energy Park and I am delighted that DEME Offshore recognised we have the facilities, experience and skills to support them with this extremely exciting project.”

The massive jacket structures will be manoeuvred off the heavy lift vessel and into the storage areas. Each structure will be moved back to the quayside storages areas at a later date where they will be lifted onboard DEME Offshore’s new heavy-lift installation vessel Orion which will be arriving at Nigg shortly.

Measuring 216 metres long and with a crane capacity of 5000 tonnes, the highly sophisticated vessel will carry up to five jackets on its deck at a time, before lifting them into the sea and precisely connecting with the pre-installed piles.”

DEME Offshore’s general manager Bart De Poorter said: “The safe arrival of these first eight jackets is a significant milestone and just the beginning of what are exciting times in the progress and timeline for the Moray East Offshore Windfarm.”

Marcel Sunier, Project Director Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, said : “I am grateful for all of the work and cooperation which has been undertaken to enable the Moray East project to progress safely in this challenging environment of the global health situation.

“Energy is one of 13 ‘critical sectors’ to the UK economy and Moray East is an essential project, which will provide plentiful low-carbon electricity at a world-leading low price.

“Moray East is strategically important to the security of the UK’s energy supply. It will help ensure that the UK’s economic recovery is not impeded by lack of access to low-cost, low carbon energy. “

The 100-turbine, 950nw development was granted consent in 2014 and is due to be operational by 2022

It is being developed by Moray Offshore Windfarm East Ltd (MOWEL), which is a

joint venture company owned by Diamond Green Limited (33.4%), EDPR (33.3 %), ENGIE (23.3%) and CTG (10%).

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