Construction work has begun to build the hub of the East Anglia ONE windfarm in Lowestoft as part of a £25 million investment.
The new operations and maintenance building, which is to be constructed at Associated British Ports’ Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, will support the day-to-day operations of the windfarm being developed by world leading clean energy provider, ScottishPower Renewables.
Around 100 people will be employed full-time at the base when East Anglia ONE is completed, and the thousands of contractors and supply chain operators using the site every year will contribute substantially to the local economy.
Commencement of work on the new building comes on the same day as the award of a £2.5 million contract to Great Yarmouth-based company, 3sun Group, to service the construction stage of East Anglia ONE, from the new hub on Lowestoft docks, which will see the creation of 30 new jobs.
The contract will see 3sun carrying out four major work packages; onshore and offshore services including labour from administrators to offshore technicians and supply materials, personal protective equipment, waste management, providing health and safety and Global Wind Organisation training.
Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables Project Director for East Anglia ONE, said: “The starting of construction on our new operations and maintenance building in Lowestoft is a landmark moment for the East Anglia ONE project and shows our commitment to the local area.
“Through the development of our four offshore windfarms off the Suffolk coast, we will be able to deliver cleaner renewable energy for future generations, simultaneously creating lasting skilled career opportunities in Lowestoft and across East Anglia. We are already working with a number of East Anglian companies and look forward to working with 3sun Group on this important phase of the project.”
The new operations and maintenance facility, which is being designed and built by NRS Group, will be a hive of activity for engineers and technicians, the base for marine operations, specialist offices and warehousing. It will also help to support the offshore phase of construction work on the windfarm, as well as the 30-plus years operational lifespan of the project.
Waveney MP, Peter Aldous, said: “A quiet revolution is taking place in the way that electricity is provided to the UK’s homes and businesses, which can bring significant benefits to coastal towns such as Lowestoft.
“Having the operations and maintenance base for the East Anglia ONE windfarm in our town is very important for the future of Lowestoft and the wider Waveney community, providing job opportunities offshore, onshore and within the supply chain.”
3sun Chief Executive Officer Graham Hacon said: “This is the biggest single site contract we have ever had. It will draw on our local knowledge and experience of the offshore renewables industry – using our pool of technicians, but will also create another 30 jobs from office workers to technicians.”
The 3sun Group workforce on East Anglia ONE will include candidates from the new East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College’s Great Yarmouth campus.
One candidate, Michael Montgomery, has already been recruited from the course’s first cohort, who will take on the role of Inspection Technician with the intent of working on the East Anglia ONE contract in the near future.
East Anglia ONE will see 102 wind turbines installed in the southern North Sea, approximately 30 miles off the coast, as part of an overall £2.5 billion investment in the region to meet the annual electricity demands of the equivalent of almost 600,000 homes*.
Onshore construction work for the cable route and substation at Bramford, Suffolk, is also underway, with plans for the first turbines to be installed in 2019 and the windfarm to be fully operational in 2020.
For more information about East Anglia ONE visit: www.scottishpowerrenewables.com.