Jack-up barge in Yarmouth poised for windfarm work

A HUGE jack-up barge sitting in Great Yarmouth's outer harbour is poised to begin the transportation of components for 88 turbines for the Sheringham Shoal windfarm.

Having arrived from Abu Dhabi, its role is to carry the top sections and blades for the turbines and install them on monopoles which are already in place.

Taking three parts per voyage, GMS Endeavour will make numerous trips until all 88 turbines are up and running in around a year's time.

Andy Surplice, operations manager for ships agent Seletar Shipping said the 25-crew was likely to double over its year in port, bringing spin-off benefits to local companies like taxi firms and hotels.

He said it was United Arab Emirate's-based GMS Gulf Marine Service's first venture into the North Sea as part of Danish company A2Sea's contract to use the harbour as a base for the Sheringham project.

The barge is able to sail around the coast by retracting its legs and then putting them down when it reaches its destination where it jacks itself up out of the water, looking more like an oil rig than a barge.

A2Sea has installed 60pc of wind turbines across Europe - including those at Scroby Sands - and chose the outer harbour ahead of the Lowestoft port because the entrance was big enough for the company's barges.

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The turbines at Sheringham each measure 125m high and will provide enough power annually for 3,000 homes.

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