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Massive new components for the Moray East windfarm arrive at Port of Nigg in the Cromarty Firth

By Philip Murray

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The heavy transport vessel OHT Hawk arrives on the Cromarty Firth carrying wind turbine jackets for the Moray Offshore Wind Facility to Nigg Energy Park. Image by: Malcolm McCurrach.
The heavy transport vessel OHT Hawk arrives on the Cromarty Firth carrying wind turbine jackets for the Moray Offshore Wind Facility to Nigg Energy Park. Image by: Malcolm McCurrach.

MASSIVE new wind turbine parts have arrived in the waters of the Cromarty Firth ahead of their installation in the Moray East wind farm.

Global Energy's facilities at the Port of Nigg, welcome the arrival of heavy transport vessel, “Hawk” today, carrying platform substructures for nine wind turbines and one offshore substation.

These 'jackets' each stand some 75m-80m high and are destined for use by Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Ltd in the Moray Firth.

The jackets are being offloaded at Nigg, where they will undergo the final preparations before they are loaded onto the jack-up vessel “Seajacks Scylla” for installation at sea, more than 25km from shore.

The Port of Nigg and the Port of Cromarty Firth are providing the onshore facilities from which the offshore installation work will be undertaken.

A total of 103 jackets are being installed in the Moray Firth to provide foundations for 100 offshore wind turbine generators and three offshore substation platforms.

To get the electricity to customers onshore, three subsea cables will be laid which will connect the offshore substations with underground onshore cables at Inverboyndie, and then on to the new substation currently under construction south of New Deer, which will make the power generated available via the National Grid.

When complete the facility will be capable of meeting the needs of more than 950,000 homes.

Moray East Project Director Marcel Sunier said: “The arrival of these impressive structures at the Port of Nigg gives a striking understanding of the scale of the project which is being undertaken in the Moray Firth and the benefit this brings to the local community.

“Because we are able to work at such large scale that we have been able to make significant cost reductions in the cost of produced power. The Moray East offshore wind farm will make a major contribution to the post Covid recovery producing plentiful low-cost, low carbon power.

Global Energy Group Chairman, Roy MacGregor commented: “It is our continuing desire to make The Port of Nigg an Energy Hub. The Port of Nigg is an ideal staging port for the Moray East Project due to its deep-water access and the high ground bearing strength of its quay and storage areas. Great skill is required to safely manoeuvre the massive structures off of the heavy lift vessel and into the storage areas.

“Each structure will then be moved back to the quayside storages areas at a later date where they will be lifted onboard the installation vessel which will is already operating out of the Nigg facility. In addition, structures will also arrive at Nigg by tug and barge, and will be transferred to the installation vessel for offshore deployment.

"Our strategy over the last few years has been in energy transition within a changing and highly competitive marketplace. We have the diverse mix of facilities, people and supply and support companies to meet the requirements of our clients across multi energy markets.”

Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth added: “We are delighted that the facilities in the Cromarty Firth are playing such an integral role in the Moray East project.

"Over £110m has been invested in the area to ensure the Cromarty Firth’s infrastructure, both at Nigg and Invergordon is at the forefront of all the opportunities presented in the Scottish Offshore Wind sector and in turn generating sustainable jobs throughout the region.

“We are excited to work alongside Global Energy Group and extend a warm welcome to the Hawk following its arrival into the Cromarty Firth.”

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