Nexans wins 100 million Euros power cable contract for the London Array offshore wind farm project

Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has won a contract worth approximately 100 million Euros to design, manufacture and supply the high voltage (HV) subsea power export cables that will connect the London Array wind farm to the UK grid. The contract was placed with Nexans by the consortium of DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar, which is currently building the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

The London Array wind farm is being installed on a 233 km2 site located around 20 km off the UK coast. Construction is taking place in two phases: the first phase of 630 MW, consisting of 175 turbines, is expected to be completed and generating in 2012; the future second phase will add capacity to bring the total to 1,000 MW and will supply enough power for around 750,000 UK homes.

The wind power export cable contract comprises the design, manufacture and supply of four 150 kV XLPE submarine power cables to be laid in parallel, each 53 to 54 km in length, with three copper core conductors with a cross-section of 630 mm2 for the main length and 800mm² at each cable end. Nexans will deliver two of the cables in 2011, and two in 2012, all being delivered in single continuous lengths from Nexans’ factory in Halden. The cables will also incorporate fibre optic elements manufactured at the Nexans factory in Rognan, Norway. In addition, the contract also includes the cable accessories such as repair joints and terminations.

Krister Granlie“This new contract is the result of several years of Nexans involvement in the offshore wind energy sector in general and in the UK in particular. We are happy to demonstrate once again with this major contract Nexans’ ability to provide key cable solutions for a better deployment of wind farm infrastructures“, says Krister Granlie, Managing Director of Nexans’ Umbilicals & Submarine High Voltage Business Group.

Frédéric vincent“World-leading schemes such as London Array demonstrate why the UK is currently regarded as one of the pace-setters in offshore wind energy, and we are very proud to be co-operating in this prestigious project with some of the key developers in this dynamic market”, says Frédéric Vincent, Nexans CEO.

The offshore wind farm market: a great potential for growth

Over the past four years, Nexans’ share of the offshore wind farm market has tripled in size. Considering current political and financial incentive policies, particularly in Europe, this market should gain importance in the future.

In this market, Nexans offers complete turnkey solutions for its clients, from manufacturing in its specialized production unit based in Norway to installation using advanced, dedicated systems designed in-house. High voltage cables for typical offshore projects are usually produced in one single length of about 50 km long – which requires specific industrial know-how and manufacturing technology – and they can weigh up to 120 kg per meter of cable according to the conductor cross-section. A single cable can weigh up to 7,000 tons.

Over the past few years, Nexans has demonstrated its expertise through participation in many offshore wind farm projects worldwide: Barrow, Horns Rev, Lynn and Inner Dowsing, Wolfe Island, etc.

Recently, the Group has also proved its technological commitment to the continued development of the offshore wind farm market by supplying and installing the submarine power cable for the world’s first floating wind turbine in Norway.

The London Array wind farm is a joint venture being developed by three international companies with renewable energy interests. The wind farm would be located more than 20km (12 miles) from the Kent and Essex coasts in the outer Thames Estuary, one of the three strategic areas the UK Government has identified for offshore wind farm development.

When fully operational, it would make a substantial contribution to the UK Government’s target of providing 15.4% of all electricity supply from renewable sources by 2015. Based on the current schedule, it is expected that the project would represent nearly 7% of this target. It would also avoid the emission of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide over its life.

DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar give green light to build world’s largest offshore wind farm

DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar have today announced that they will invest €2.2bn in building the first 630MW phase of the London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

Once complete, the scheme will be the the world’s largest, and the first 1GW, offshore wind farm. The project will supply enough power for around 750,000 homes – or a quarter of Greater London homes – and displace the emission of 1.9m tonnes of CO2 every year.

Today’s announcement comes after the UK Government’s recent proposal to increase its support for offshore wind power. The partners are satisfied that the project is now financially viable and are now keen to push ahead with construction and to produce the first renewable power in 2012.

Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, said: “Following the 2 ROC announcement, and our subsequent decision to build the Walney projects, I’m thrilled that we today also have the final investment decision on the London Array project. The decision to build the London Array offshore wind farm is a very significant cornerstone in DONG Energy’s strategy to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. DONG Energy has built approximately half of all offshore wind farms in operation in the world today.

Entering into the world’s largest offshore wind farm project further strengthens DONG Energy’s leading position in this field.”

E.ON CEO Dr. Wulf Bernotat said: “I’m delighted that work can now get underway on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The start of London Array will mark a key milestone in our roadmap as we continue with our ambitious strategy to take renewables to an industrial level. With this pioneering scheme, we see a significant increase in scale for offshore wind and also for E.ON as we aim to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer.

“Today’s announcement is proof that, if all interested parties work together, renewable power can be taken to its next level and so make a real difference to the fight against climate change.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: “The leadership of Abu Dhabi recognizes the importance of global collaboration and engagement to deploy renewable energy on a large scale. The London Array represents Masdar’s strategic approach to renewable energy, whereby real partnerships are formed between government and the private sector. This project is a great achievement for the UK government, E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar, which exemplifies our commitment to build cooperation to take renewable energy further down the path to widespread global adoption.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind farms, creating jobs and prosperity for the economy. That’s why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future. “E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar are to be congratulated for their work on the London Array.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This is another green light for green energy. It’s a vote of confidence in the support the Government has put into backing renewable energy.

“The UK is already the world’s leading offshore wind power and this multi-billion pound project will help keep us there, cut our carbon emissions and contribute to secure energy supplies.”

Onshore work is now due to start in the summer, with offshore work due to start in early 2011.

The scheme will be built around 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 90 square mile site and will be built in two phases. The consortium hopes the first phase of 630 MW will be completed and generating in 2012. The first phase will consist of 175 turbines. The second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000 MW.