25/11/2011

Farrans Bag Renewable Energy Contract

The sea and the air around NI are to be harnessed to generate much-needed power with Stormont Ministers this week announcing a £50m pound investment in renewable energy.

Around 150 people will win jobs in the construction phase after the NI Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy officially announced Belfast Harbour's plans to develop the Offshore Wind Logistics Terminal, for DONG Energy.

The letter of intent, signed by the partners in February 2011, has now been finalised and construction work to develop the 450-metre quay and 50-acre logistics centre has been awarded to the Northern Ireland based company Farrans (Construction) Ltd.

The development is the first of its kind in the UK and the largest ever development in Belfast Harbour's history.

The tailor-made facility will be used by DONG Energy to pre-assemble offshore wind turbines and their foundations for installation at wind farms situated in the Irish Sea.

The first project will be to service West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm - a 50/50 joint venture between DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables.
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Ulster Unionist Executive Minister Danny Kennedy said: "This key investment project will see the continued regeneration of Belfast's docks and harbour area and provides the basis for Northern Ireland to benefit from a growing national and international renewables market.

"The project will also deliver a welcome boost to the construction industry with up to 150 employed in the building of this facility."

DUP Minister Arlene Foster said: "Belfast's Harbour area is well placed to become a major centre in the rapidly expanding offshore wind sector and over the next 20 years stands to benefit from the significant business opportunities that have been identified.

"This investment clearly demonstrates DONG Energy's confidence in our local capabilities and underlines Northern Ireland's potential to become a leading player in this sector.

"In addition, it is expected that The Crown Estate will shortly seek Expressions of Interest for the development of offshore wind and tidal projects in Northern Ireland waters - another key opportunity for Northern Ireland companies," she added.

DONG Energy is a world leader in offshore wind farms and has built five of the world's ten largest offshore wind farms.

(BMcC/GK)

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