Contracts worth £7m awarded for building of offshore wind farm base

From left, James Wilson, director of RG Carter, Sean Chenery, Galloper operations and maintenance ma

From left, James Wilson, director of RG Carter, Sean Chenery, Galloper operations and maintenance manager, and Bryan Calver of RG Carter. Picture: Innogy. - Credit: Innogy

East Anglian firms have landed major multi-million pound contracts for the construction of an offshore wind farm's coastal base.

RG Carter and Jackson Civil Engineering have been named as the preferred bidders for the operations and maintenance base for the Galloper offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk.

The contracts were agreed part of a £7m-plus package which included the fabrication and installation contract for the pontoon, awarded to Farrans Construction.

They are dependent upon planning permission being granted for the base and its infrastructure at Harwich International Port, with a decision expected later in the summer.

RG Carter has been selected for the construction of the building, where technicians maintaining the farm will be based, while Jacksons will build the access road. Both are members of the EDP/EADT Top 100, a list of Norfolk and Suffolk's biggest companies by turnover.

Sean Chenery, Galloper operations and maintenance manager, said: 'The O&M base will be the hub for all of the activity to maintain and operate the wind farm over its 23-year life. Therefore these contracts and the construction of the base would signify the beginning of a major long-term investment and jobs boost for the area.

'We were very impressed with the expertise and professionalism of all of the selected preferred bidders. They will be integral to helping us deliver the state-of-the-art Galloper renewables base in Harwich.'

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James Wilson, director and general manager at RG Carter, said: 'This facility will not only benefit the local community but will also involve substantial investment into the local economy for years to come.'

The construction of the 336MW Galloper project, which is expected to be complete by spring 2018, is being led on behalf of the project partners by innogy SE. Once operational the project will generate enough power for the equivalent of 336,000 homes.

The laying of the turbine foundations on the £1.5bn project was completed in late March, two months ahead of schedule.

The wind farm has also chartered Seacat Ranger, a catamaran operated by Seacat Services, for three years from August.