Contract supports jobs as H&W extends reach into renewables

The former shipyard continues to diversify to maintain manufacturing jobs and skills in the province
The former shipyard continues to diversify to maintain manufacturing jobs and skills in the province

UP to 80 jobs will be secured at Harland & Wolff following the award of the latest contract to the Belfast yard which will see it supply foundations for an offshore windfarm being built off the German coast.

H&W has been chosen by jacket foundation supplier ST3 Offshore to supply suction buckets for DONG Energy’s Borkum Riffgrund 2 field.

The 56 turbine windfarm will use two types of steel foundations, suction bucket jackets and monopiles.

The innovative design consists of three legs welded together in a jacket structure, standing on top of three giant suction buckets anchoring the foundation to the seabed.

ST3 Offshore, a leading European serial manufacturer of offshore steel foundations, is to fabricate 20 suction bucket jackets for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore windfarm. As part of this agreement, H&W will manufacture and export a significant number of suction buckets.

The units manufactured in Belfast will be shipped to ST3’s advanced serial manufacturing plant in Stettin, Poland, for fitting prior to foundation installation in the German Bight area of the North Sea during 2018.

“H&W is delighted to be involved in the Borkum Riffgrund 2 project, continuing to support manufacturing jobs in Belfast and contributing to UK exports,” said business development director Jonathan Guest.

“We are committed to the retention of manufacturing skills in Northern Ireland and projects such as this enable us to both develop our in-house capability and support the local supply chain.”

The contract was also welcomed by International Trade Minister Greg Hands, who said it “further demonstrates the UK’s leadership in offshore wind”.

“Harland & Wolff’s innovative designs and expertise can help make renewable energy projects like Borkum Riffgrund 2 possible, as UK exports help tackle climate change across the world.”

Norman Skillen, MD of ST3 Offshore UK Ltd, said: “We continue to see future possibilities for the UK offshore wind supply chain and we are delighted that H&W can play a key role in the competitive production of suction bucket jackets for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 project.”

The shipyard has built a reputation for the repair and refurbishment of oil rigs and has also been developing its abilities in the renewables sector, in particular offshore wind generation projects.

Casper Frost Thorhauge, deputy programme director for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 field said they had a growing number of UK offshore windfarms under construction and in planning.

“We have been working hard to build and develop a UK supply chain, so we are delighted to see firms exporting their expertise to our European projects, demonstrating that the UK can lead the world not only in offshore wind capacity, but create a world-leading competitive supply chain too.”