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14 September 2018, 14:04 | Updated: 14 September 2018, 14:06
Tendring District Council and the Marine Management Organisation have given the go ahead for a multi-million pound, state of the art Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm to be built in Harwich.
The base will be home to a team of around 60 people who will operate and maintain the 353 MW wind farm for its expected operational lifetime of more than 20 years.
Sean Chenery, Galloper Wind Farm O&M Manager said: “This is great news, not just for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm but also Harwich, Tendring and the wider East coast as it secures long-term jobs and a significant investment for the area.
“We have had a tremendous amount of support from both individuals and organisations including Tendring District Council, The Haven Gateway Partnership, the local Members of Parliament and our councillors, not to mention nearby businesses who attended our supply chain events. With our O&M base secured, we can now look forward to becoming a fully established member of the community.”
Galloper’s commitment to the area is already underway as the team has been operating and maintaining the wind farm from temporary facilities in Harwich International Port since the start of its operational phase. First power was generated in November 2017 with all 56 wind turbines generating home grown renewable electricity from March of this year.
“I’m also delighted that the firms supporting the build of the facility are UK based, with two out of three being from the East coast. These deals are significant contracts worth more than £10 million, so the work represents a valuable boost for the local economy.”
The appointed companies will be responsible for the construction of the base and its associated infrastructure at Harwich International Port. The preferred bidders are Ipswich based R G Carter Southern for the design and construction of the building; Ipswich based Jackson Civil Engineering Group, for the design and construction of the access road; and Farrans Construction, for the design, fabrication and installation of the pontoon.
The Galloper Operations and Maintenance Base will comprise a control room to monitor and control all wind farm activity; a purpose built pontoon for project vessels; plus warehousing and office facilities including a gym.
Early ground works are planned to commence by the end of the year. Construction of the base and pontoon is expected to be completed in late in 2019 with the construction works likely to create around 120 local jobs.
Guy Middleton, General Manager of Galloper added: “We have worked especially closely with statutory bodies, the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England to ensure our proposals met all the necessary planning requirements and so we are delighted to achieve consent and are now eager to progress the plans and move the base into its construction phase.”
Galloper Offshore Wind Farm lies approximately 30km of the coast of Suffolk and each year is expected to generate enough green electricity to power the equivalent of around 380,700 British homes.