Bard Offshore Transformer Completed

Monday 18 January 2010

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd. has completed the construction of an offshore wind energy transformer in a joint project. The contract was awarded to H&W by German offshore construction company Weserwind GmbH on behalf of BARD Engineering GmbH.
The offshore transformer platform which will provide a hub for wind farms in the North Sea will convert the energy into electrical current and connect this to the European grid system. The transformer will effectively generate 400mW, the equivalent of Kilroot power station.
Bremerhaven-based Weserwind GmbH commissioned the Belfast yard to assemble and erect the jacket structure (lower sections) of the offshore transformer platform in the yard’s main building dock. The floatable topside (upper section) was built in Latvia and was delivered to the yard by sea earlier this summer.
Harland and Wolff provided facilities and support services acting as an assembly and logistics base to Weserwind GmbH.
In addition to the 80 wind turbines of type BARD 5.0 (5 MW each), the transformer platform will be connected to the individual high-voltage cables from the wind turbines. The power transmission will be bundled through the platform.
The platform’s substructure jacket (lower section) dimensions are approx. 60m X 60m X 58m high and weighs about 3,600 tonnes. The topside transformer (upper section) dimensions are 42m X 42m X 25m high and weighs 2,000 tonnes. The transformer will be located 90km northwest off the island of Borkum within the area Allgemeine Wirtschaftszone (AWZ) in the North Sea.
Harland and Wolff head of sales and marketing David McVeigh says the contract further consolidates the company’s central position in the renewable energy sector.
“This is a significant win for a number of reasons: the platform specifically designed and built for the offshore wind farm industry, demands high precision co-ordination among a number of specialist manufacturers across Europe and is proof of our ability to diversify and be a bigger player in the offshore wind energy industry” says Mr McVeigh.
“Capital works programmes of this size are highly prized by engineering firms across the world and we have to compete with the best,” he says. “Our reputation in the renewable energy sector continues to grow and winning contracts like this is down to the company’s ability to successfully diversify into markets that suit our facilities and skills.”
“The attraction of Harland and Wolff is the combination of facilities and experience – the facilities are second to none for this type of business and having been involved in the wind energy market for years, we have gained vast experience which has enabled us to expand our capabilities in this market,” says Mr McVeigh.
Harland and Wolff recently completed a contract for the assembly of 60 wind turbines destined for an offshore site near the south west Scottish coast of the Irish Sea.