Lowestoft marine services group wins contract with world’s largest offshore wind farm

The London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary. Lowestoft-based firm James Fisher Marine

The London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary. Lowestoft-based firm James Fisher Marine Services has been awarded a five-year maintenance contract on the wind farm. Picture: London Array - Credit: London Array

Lowestoft's growing expertise in the offshore renewables industry has been further underlined after a multi-million pound contract on the world's largest offshore wind farm was awarded to a company in the town.

James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS) has been appointed by London Array to deliver selected operations and maintenance (O&M) services on a five-year contract.

The company, which moved to premises on Horn Hill earlier this year, will be responsible for the inspection and maintenance services on London Array's 175 turbines on a balance-of-plant basis, meaning it will look after the components and systems excluding the power generating unit itself. It will also provide O&M for its meteorological mast and statutory inspections on two offshore substations.

Martin Myhill Sisley, managing director of JFMS's renewables services division, said: "For some time our focus has been on creating a service that enables our customers to draw upon JFMS's full range of O&M capabilities and assets to deliver, through a single contracting interface, a fully-integrated solution.

"We're delighted to have been chosen by London Array and by having a five-year contract award, we'll be able to focus on long term operational efficiencies, cost reduction and improve overall uptime."

The appointment of JFMS will mean London Array has access to the expertise of the wider James Fisher group, which operates around the world.

Jonathan Duffy, general manager at London Array, said: "We have been impressed with James Fisher Marine Services' comprehensive range of solutions, its ability to deliver innovative and bespoke services as well as the company's strong QHSE [Quality, health, safety, and environment] record and its commitment to excellence."

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London Array is currently the world's largest operational offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary with a capacity of 630MW, supplying enough power for the equivalent of nearly 500,000 homes.

However, it will be superseded by ScottishPower Renewables' 714MW East Anglia One wind farm when it reaches full generation in 2020.

Swedish developer Vattenfall also plans to build two 1.8GW wind farms, Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas, in the 2020s.

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