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Neart na Gaoithe project enters first phase of offshore construction

One of the world’s largest offshore construction vessels has arrived at the site of the EDF Renewables and ESB owned Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm, 15km off the Fife coast, as the project enters its first phase of offshore construction.

The S7000, Saipem’s semi-submersible crane vessel, will start the installation of casings for piles. The vessel will also work on preparing the seabed in advance of the arrival of the steel foundation jackets on which the 54 wind turbine generators and two offshore substations will be installed.

This giant vessel is 197.5 metres long and can work in the most challenging weather conditions. It can carry out heavy lift operations up to 14,000 tonnes at sea. NnG will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes* and has a capacity of c. 450 megawatts (MW) of low carbon energy and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions each year. Full commissioning will complete in 2023.

Matthias Haag, NnG Project Director, said: “The construction phase of the NnG offshore wind farm is now well under way and many people will be able to see the S7000 starting construction work offshore. It will be visible from much of the East Neuk of Fife and from North Berwick and Dunbar.

“We have carefully considered the implications of COVID-19 and Scottish Government guidelines as the work gets under way offshore and for the continuing onshore works.”

Guido d’Aloisio, Saipem Head of Offshore Renewable Business line, said: “It’s very important for Saipem to start offshore construction on the NnG offshore wind farm, a milestone for our new business line, and this positions Saipem as a key player in the offshore wind industry.

“Strict protocols and continuous monitoring of the situation will ensure that the health and safety of our employees, clients and partners are protected throughout our operations on the NnG project.”

Saipem will supply and install the foundations for the turbines. It will also supply and install an additional two jackets for the offshore substations.

Onshore work continues on the project at various locations along the cable route which starts at Thorntonloch beach and finishes in the Lammermuir Hills.

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