Hornsea Project One provides further UK manufacturing boost

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 28 Nov 2017

Ørsted has confirmed that around half of the transition pieces for the world’s biggest wind farm, Hornsea Project One, will be manufactured in the UK, as it prepares to start offshore construction.

The order from the energy giant – until recently known a Dong – will see around 150 Teesside jobs safeguarded.

With a capacity of 1.2GW the 174-turbine project will be the first array with a capacity of more than 1GW, capable of supplying well over one million homes.

Transition pieces, weighing 400 tonnes, link the monopile foundations of offshore wind turbines with the towers, incorporating key infrastructure to access and maintain the turbine. 

EEW Special Pipes Constructions GmbH (EEW SPC), the company providing all 174 monopile foundations, will supply 30 transition pieces which will be manufactured at EEW Offshore Structures (Britain) Ltd, in Teesside. The facility, formerly Offshore Structures Britain, a joint venture with Bladt Industries, has just been fully bought out by EEW SPC.

Bladt Industries, who already held a contract to supply 96 transition pieces – 56 of which will be manufactured at EEW OSB – will now provide an additional 28.

In addition, Wilton Engineering, also based in Teesside, will provide significant scope for 20 transition pieces.  They will receive the basic steel tubular structure and do the majority of the manufacturing process – including sandblasting and outfitting the transition pieces with boat landings, internal platforms for cables and other electrical equipment and platforms. Before they are deployed from Teesside, Wilton will also protect the steelwork from the marine environment with a cathodic protection system and a high specification coating. 

In total 106 of the striking yellow transition pieces will be loaded out to the wind farm from Teesside.

Duncan Clark, Hornsea Project One programme director said: “The North East is a hub of manufacturing excellence, and it is great to see the growing offshore wind industry supporting real engineering jobs here. EEW OSB is a great example of that; in just two years the facility has revived and supplied increasing numbers of transition pieces for our offshore wind farms across the country, securing hundreds of jobs. 

“Hornsea Project One will make a significant contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Developing the UK supply chain not only boosts the local economy, it will help us maintain the UK’s position as global offshore wind leader.”

Offshore construction for Hornsea Project One will begin later this year and the wind farm is expected to be fully operational in 2020.

The Teesside facility, previously owned by TAG Energy solutions, was reported as insolvent in 2014 losing around 100 jobs. In 2015 it was taken over by Bladt Industries and EEW SPC who formed Offshore Structures Britain (OSB).  The first order, for 16 transition pieces, came from Ørsted’s Burbo Bank Extension and one year later, Ørsted ordered 40 for its Walney Extension project. The order for Hornsea Project One will load the facility to full capacity until autumn 2018 and safeguard around 120 jobs in Teesside.

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