A pair of Norwegian companies have taken over an ambitious £1.5bn offshore wind farm project off the Norfolk coast.

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Norwegian companies Statoil and Stratkraft, involved with oil and gas and renewable energy, have bought the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm project, previously run by British company Warwick Energy.

The 168-turbine development has received consent to be built 32km off Cromer and 20km north east of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, also owned by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint-venture company Scira Offshore Energy.

Torbjørn Steen, spokesman for Statkraft, said he could not confirm how many jobs would be created through the takeover or when building work will begin.

Mr Steen added: “This is an important step in our build up of our industrial position. We are very pleased to build on our successful development of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm.”

Mark Petterson, executive director for Warwick, said: “I think Statoil and Statkraft are a very good team. We always want to make sure the projects we work on are safely delivered. We are absolutely confident that Statoil and Statkraft will do a good job. We will honour all the commitments we have made.”

He added Warwick would still be “heavily involved” and would support the Norwegian companies, but certain aspects of the plan would be handed over to the new owners quicker than others.

Mr Petterson said it was always known funds would need to be brought into the project, which will offer hundreds of jobs during its construction and operation.

He added the plan, under the new arrangement, would not be “radically different” from when it was controlled by Warwick.

Meanwhile the battle for the location of an electricity sub-station, which will connect energy from the wind farm to the National Grid, continues.

An application by Warwick for the sub-station near mid Norfolk village Little Dunham, which attracted hundreds of objections, was rejected by Breckland Council in 2010. It will be scrutinised in a second public inquiry from November 6.

Breckland granted permission for the substation to be built at nearby Necton earlier this month, but the Little Dunham site was always Warwick’s preferred location.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “I am very pleased with this news. It is massive new investment offshore, directly off the North Norfolk coast. This means more jobs in North Norfolk and it is likely to be a similar number to the Sheringham Shoal, so we could be talking about 50 jobs.

“This is extra investment in the North Norfolk economy and the benefit to all the other supply businesses will be enormous. It reinforces the view that there is immense potential in this industry to create jobs for our youngsters in North Norfolk, and we have got to make sure we take advantage, and that Further Education colleges gear themselves up for meeting these opportunities.”

Mr Lamb said he thought there was a good chance that the port of Wells, which is the main service base for the Sheringham Shoal operation, could also become the hub for the Dudgeon technicians.

He said: “Clearly, Wells is very well placed with the infrastructure they have got there for Sheringham Shoal to provide facilities for this (Dudgeon) as well. Nothing is guaranteed but Wells is in a good place to provide that access.”

Tom FitzPatrick, deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “North Norfolk District Council welcomes this exciting announcement.

“The council has had an excellent working relationship with Statoil and Statkraft over a number of years during the building of the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm. That project is proving very beneficial for the people and the economy of the district, providing jobs and advanced technical skills.

“We are confident that the development of the Dudgeon wind farm, which lies 20 miles north of Cromer, by companies that clearly have great faith in the district, will ensure that North Norfolk remains at the forefront of offshore energy technology.”

7 comments

  • As someone who has long extolled the virtue of offshore wind, I am ashamed. Like Sheringham Shoal, more or less all of the profit from this will go directly to Norway. This is absurd and should not have been allowed to happen. We really need some new politicians in this country, and probably always have.

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    windup

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Which planet is Norman Lamb on? This means another foreign company will benefit from this heavily subsidised project. All paid for by the British taxpayer. Any profits will also go to Norway with very little coming to UKPLC in taxation. We have got to be barking mad in this country to allow this to happen.

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    BG

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • One of the benefits, we were told, of wind farms would be that we will not be at the mercy of foreign suppliers for our energy. I think the buzz word was energy security. Does anyone else sense that the whole thing was one big lie?

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    Derek Colman

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Once again we see the staggering lack of knowledge and ignorance displayed for all to see. Yet, still the usual suspects spout their ill informed vitriol. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about Scira appreciates that they have bent over backwards to work with the community and use local contractors wherever possible. They have made a 75 year commitment to Wells and the surrounding area and I am informed that 55 of the 60 people they now employ were local residents. I also applaud the £millions they invested in the harbour that will benefit generations. I sincerely hope that Scira win more contracts. Their commitment to the local economy is already proven. Let's hope the likes of East Anglia Offshore Wind are able to do the same.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Yet again speculative developers (Warwick Energy) have bulldozed their way through the planning system in Norfolk in the name of Green Energy and will now disappear laughing with the proceeds. The electricity produced is not for Norfolk, the massive subsidies the UK will have to find to fund this windfarm will go to Norway and those of us who live and work here from fishermen to farmers to the villagers of Necton or Little Dunham will have to bear the disruption and desecration this uneconomic project will create. As for job creation - dream on. Just ask where the turbines, cables, engineers, construction vessels etc will come from . Recently the only employment benefit the press could come up with was a taxi firm transporting staff to and from Heathrow - local workers then!! When will the powers at be wake up to this new gravy train which will hit all our pockets?

    Report this comment

    Jane

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • In the interest of giving some balance to these comments - many UK based workers and companies have supported the construction of Sheringham Shoal and will most likely do so for the construction of Dudgeon. There are approx 50 people, all living local to Norfolk working on the Sheringham Shoal, permanantly employed. During construction almost 650 people worked on construction with around 40% being from the UK. Many local companies will be supporting the on-going operation of the wind farm, also, all local to Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    windymiller

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Yet again speculative developers (Warwick Energy) have bulldozed their way through the planning system in Norfolk in the name of Green Energy and will now disappear laughing with the proceeds. The electricity produced is not for Norfolk, the massive subsidies the UK will have to find to fund this windfarm will go to Norway and those of us who live and work here from fishermen to farmers to the villagers of Necton or Little Dunham will have to bear the disruption and desecration this uneconomic project will create. As for job creation - dream on. Just ask where the turbines, cables, engineers, construction vessels etc will come from . Recently the only employment benefit the press could come up with was a taxi firm transporting staff to and from Heathrow - local workers then!! When will the powers at be wake up to this new gravy train which will hit all our pockets?

    Report this comment

    Jane

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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