Expanding company 3sun Group has secured the contract for pre-assembly of the 56 turbine towers for the £1.5billion Galloper Offshore Wind Farm in its home town.
The specialist provider of products and services to the global energy industry won the contract with turbine manufacturer Siemens against strong international competition.
Forty of the Great Yarmouth-based company’s engineers and technicians will be involved in building the turbine towers at the town’s port, where a multi-million investment has created an assembly and installation base for Galloper, and future offshore wind farms such as East Anglia ONE.
Siemens said the working with 3sun Group demonstrated its commitment to providing local content for its projects off the East of England.
Hervé Bouraima, Global Commodity Manager, Siemens Strategic Procurement, said: “When awarding our contracts, local content is a priority as well as UK content. 3sun Group is a highly regarded experienced local company with the skills and personnel for this work.”
Key turbine components will arrive at the newly-developed quayside, where they will be assembled – known as pre-assembly – before they are loaded on to vessels by the 120m crane on the town’s sky-line and transported offshore for installation about 20 miles off the Suffolk coast.
The contract means 40 new jobs for 3sun Group – celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – on top of the 100 new technicians it is currently recruiting, swelling its workforce to almost 400 working on contracts worldwide.
The work also provides a tremendous opportunity for the 3sun pre-apprentices currently being trained at Great Yarmouth College to put their learning into practice on some of the world’s largest offshore wind turbines.
After work starts early next month, people in Great Yarmouth will be able to see the towers of the 56 6MW turbines taking shape built by local people – an aspiration of 3sun Group Chief Executive Graham Hacon as he has built his global business.
Mr Hacon said: “We are delighted and proud to be providing local content for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm – not only does it recognise our experience, expertise and reputation in a competitive international market, it brings real investment, jobs creation and local content from offshore wind to the Great Yarmouth community.
“We work on offshore wind farms all over the world but it is especially important to win contracts on wind farms off our coast to provide employment for our local community in this new growing industry. This was a vision when offshore wind began off the East of England, bringing hope for skills and employment as more traditional industries waned.
“With this contract, people can see that the multi-billion offshore wind industry isn’t just happening miles out at sea –the positive effects are being felt here in Great Yarmouth.“
Hervé Bouraima added: “Engaging 3sun Group on this high-profile project ensures a highly experienced local company carrying out pre-assembly works to support the technical integrity of the turbines we are manufacturing for UK wind farms.”
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: “This is what the community of Great Yarmouth has been hoping for from the exciting new industry developing off its shores – jobs for local people, bringing significant contributions to the local economy and a real part for local people to play in the new industry.
“The contract is a well-deserved reward for the dedication and investment 3sun Group has made to shape a skilled workforce ready to meet the demands for local content in offshore wind farms.”
Quayside pre-assembly keeps down the cost of expensive offshore work and unpredictable weather. A new 120m ALE Heavy lift SXL850 quayside crane at the North Terminal will lift parts of SWT-6.0-154 Wind Turbine Generators (WTG’s) and assembled towers on and off vessels.
Galloper Wind Farm is an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard Wind Farm and will have the capacity to generate enough energy for up to 336,000 homes a year.
It is being constructed by Innogy on behalf of the Galloper Wind Farm Limited partners, with the offshore construction phase scheduled to start next year.