‘Huge vote of confidence’ – Port of Dundee and BiFab to play major roles


28th November 2019


Fife manufacturing firm BiFab and the Port of Dundee are the big winners as EDF Renewables today announced construction has started on its £2 billion wind farm.

Matthias Haag, NnG project director, and David Webster, Forth Ports senior manager.

All of the Neart Na Gaoithe’s 54 turbines will be assembled at the Port of Dundee.

Meanwhile, BiFab will build “at least” eight foundation jackets – used to anchor the turbines to the seabed. It is understood this contract is for eight jackets.

The wind farm, located in the Firth of Forth, will supply enough energy to power 375,000 homes.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander hailed the announcement as an “incredible vote of confidence” for the city.

He said: “In partnership with Forth Ports and private sector partners, we have been actively promoting the skilled workforce, facilities and opportunity that exists at the Port of Dundee.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander.

“I am delighted with this latest announcement that recognises those huge assets.

“It’s an incredible vote of confidence for Dundee but, importantly, the relationship with the NNG team, EDF and Siemens Gamesa will be a source of strength long into the future.

“As leader of the city, I cannot overestimate the importance of this announcement.”

Construction of components is now under way.

Offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will complete in 2023.

EDF Renewables also announcing some of the project’s Tier One contractors. The wind turbine generators will be supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy with the foundations for the turbines supplied and installed by Saipem.

EDF Renewables said BiFab would build a number of the foundation turbine jackets on the project.

The BiFab yard in Methil.

It is understood the contract is for “at least” eight jackets, with a further contract for the manufacture of turbine pin piles. yet to be announced.

No contract has yet been signed by BiFab owner DF Barnes but the firm is “very close” to a deal, an industry insider said.

A spokesman for DF Barnes said: “We welcome this positive statement from EDF in relation to the NnG project and the opportunities it presents for communities in Fife and the Isle of Lewis.

“Our team is working flat out to secure new contracts that bring work to Scotland.

“We can confirm that BiFab is in final negotiations with Siapem to deliver jackets and remain hopeful of securing work on the piles.”

Charles Hammond, group chief executive of Forth Ports, which operates the Port of Dundee, said: “This major development will bring significant benefits to not only the City of Dundee and the port but the whole of Scotland.

“Continued investment in our facilities, skills and infrastructure along with our £10m industry-leading heavy lift quayside means the Port of Dundee is well placed to deliver this prestigious offshore wind infrastructure project.”

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports.

EDF Renewables is also announcing that leading Irish energy company ESB is taking a 50% stake in the project. 25 financial institutions are lending money to fund the project.

Project servicing and maintenance will take place at the Scottish NnG Operations and Maintenance base where there will be 50 permanent jobs over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm.

The preferred supplier at this stage is Eyemouth Harbour.

EDF Renewables also announcing some of the project’s Tier One contractors. The wind turbine generators will be supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy with the foundations for the turbines supplied and installed by Saipem.

Matthias Haag – NnG project director, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander and Forth Ports senior port manager David Webster outside V&A Dundee.

EDF Renewables UK chief executive Matthieu Hue said: “These are hugely important milestones for the project, and a great credit to the EDF Renewables team.

“We are excited to get work under way with our new equity partner ESB, our contractors, and all Scottish companies and stakeholders participating in the project.

“The 450 MW NnG project will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland.”

Scottish Government’s finance secretary Derek Mackay added: “This is positive news for the Port of Dundee, Eyemouth Harbour and BiFab in Fife, which are set to benefit from the associated jobs and investment in the local community, demonstrating the strengths and potential of our indigenous supply chain.

“The Scottish Government is actively encouraging developers to explore every possible option to help the Scottish supply chain in the development of future offshore wind projects.

“While we believe that much more is possible from across the whole sector, today’s announcement is another welcome step in the right direction.”

Credit to The Courier and Rob Mclaren 

Port of Dundee

The Port of Dundee is the most northerly port owned by Forth Ports and is one of the largest economic generators in the city of Dundee. The port is strategically located on the east coast of Scotland, midway between Aberdeen and the central belt, and lies on the north side of the sheltered Firth of Tay.

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

Back to news