Windfarm work to restart

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WORK on a multi-million pound windfarm, off the coast of Hartlepool, will restart as soon as possible after delays, say energy bosses.

EDF Energy Renewables is using Hartlepool as a base while it builds the new 27-turbine Teesside Offshore Windfarm, off the coast of Redcar.

Work began back in February but the project hit delays in the summer after the foundations were installed.

The energy company says work on attaching the turbines is due to get underway before Christmas after finding a large vessel for the next phase of the work.

A spokesman for EDF Energy Renewables said: “As the project has moved into the winter period we have been reviewing the use of vessels for the installation of wind turbines on the Teesside offshore wind farm.

“We have always been aware of the restrictions of the navigation channel at the Port of Hartlepool, where our supply base is located.

“Normally this would not have posed a problem. But delays in the project mean that we are now entering a period of uncertain weather conditions and as a result we have been examining the potential use of a larger vessel which is more suitable for winter operations.

“We have now concluded negotiations with our contractors over the use of an alternative vessel and installation of the turbines will begin as soon as possible.”

The project was delayed when two unexploded bombs left over from the Second World War were discovered on the seabed in June.

And in August a leg of a mobile platform got stuck in mud at the bottom of the sea, causing work to stop.

The alternative vessel, the MPI Adventure, is a 440ft-long six-leg jack up ship designed to transport, lift and instal wind turbines.

Depending on the wintry weather, EDF hopes to complete the project between next spring and summer.

All other major works associated with the windfarm, including an onshore substation at Warrenby, are complete.

EDF Energy Renewables is working with specialist marine engineering contractors to complete the work.