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Setting sail for a flying start: Hornsea Project One construction is go!

INSTALLATION is underway at Hornsea Project One, set to become the world's largest offshore wind farm once complete in 2020.

Setting sail for a flying start: Hornsea Project One construction is go!

Jack-up vessel Innovation has taken the first load-out of monopiles - the giant steel tubes that are hammered into the seabed - out to the site, more than 120km off the East Yorkshire coast, while the first workers have been flown to meet the vessel from Humberside Airport.

Specialist company GeoSea is working closely with Ørsted, installing 174 foundations for the 1.2GW farm.

It is the first Round Three development to be brought forward off the Humber, the first wind farm over 1GW, and follows on from the pre-Christmas completion of installations at Race Bank. Both will be operated and maintained from Grimsby, where the Danish giant is ramping up employment to 500 as it develops out the further phases of the Hornsea cluster. 

The first load-out, co-ordinated this week, took place in Flushing, Holland, with the vessel sailing to site on Tuesday (January 24).

With it reaching the 400 sq km farm came the inaugural flight for CHC from Humberside Airport, taking five workers out and landing on the heli-deck of the vessel, seen below.

The leading provider to the oil and gas industry won its first major contract in renewables, as announced in September, and working with Uni-Fly will deliver the six-year deal covering the construction phase and the first five years of operations and maintenance. 

This includes a transfer service to take people from shore to the wind farm, as witnessed yesterday (Wednesday, January 24), and also smaller helicopters to transfer people and tools between the turbines and substations.

CHC’s regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mark Abbey, said: “I am delighted to see our service get underway. It is a privilege to be part of this landmark project.

“We continue to invest in our Humberside facilities, our equipment and training to take on unique projects just like this one and are eager to show how our business and technical skills can support this mission. This also helps drive CHC’s long-term strategy to broaden our range of services to the energy market and continue to grow our renewables service alongside our oil and gas, and Search and Rescue service.”

As reported, the 30-strong team could be expanded as it looks to establish a larger presence in the burgeoning industry.

Leonardo AW139 and AW169 helicopters will support the construction and support phases of the project.

Duncan Clark, Hornsea Project One programme director for Ørsted, said: “This is the first ever wind farm in the world to be built at this scale, and it is bringing great benefits to the UK and the Humber region.

“We’re thrilled to see UK companies being able to offer their services as we take huge strides in expanding the offshore wind sector here in the UK. It’s also great to see companies like CHC adapt their expertise from existing sectors to be part of the growing renewables industry, pioneering new working practices further offshore. ”

“The Humber region is also benefiting greatly; we’re investing millions in building the largest ever offshore wind operations and maintenance hub here, bringing skilled jobs to the area and engaging with young people to inspire them into STEM subjects.” 

Onshore, significant work continues, with a £25 million substation developed and reaching completion with all the heavy-duty electrical components installed at North Killingholme. 

Ørsted, formerly Dong Energy, has said that electrical testing and commissioning will take place over the next few months at the substation, with a view to introducing power in late 2018.

Linking that up to the wind farm, are cables skirting North East Lincolnshire to landfall at Horseshoe Point. 

Last summer saw the careful bypassing of sea defences, with Scunthorpe's AMS No-Dig, a horizontal drilling specialist, brought in. Three cable ducts were installed, about 200m in length and 450mm in diameter. 

Hornsea Project One is also the first development to bring power ashore on the South Bank of the Humber.

News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com

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