A new £50m (€60m) terminal at Belfast Harbour has been officially handed over to Danish developer DONG Energy and UK utility ScottishPower Renewables. It is the first purpose-built offshore wind installation and pre-assembly harbour facility in the UK or Ireland.
As revealed by Windpower Offshorelast November, the terminal was completed early and will serve as the primary installation port during construction of the West of Duddon Sands project, a joint venture between DONG and ScottishPower. Work on the wind farm has already started and Belfast Harbour received its first shipment of foundations from Bladt Industries' Aalborg production plant earlier this month. The first turbines should depart Belfast this summer for erection at the site off England's north west coast.
Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK chairman, said: “Having a bespoke facility at our fingertips will help us plan our offshore construction very effectively and help with our work to lower the cost of offshore wind farms.”
Alongside West of Duddon Sands, DONG is developing a number of other projects under the 4.2GW Round 3 Irish Sea zone that will be served by the Belfast terminal. It also owns a 50% stake in a 600MW offshore wind farm planned for Northern Irish waters. The new Belfast terminal is expected to create 300 direct jobs, ranging from welders to electricians and engineers.