The contract to supply the communications mast for one of the UK’s biggest offshore wind farms has been awarded to an Aberdeen company, with the deal putting the green credentials of the project at the forefront.
Montrose Port Authority awarded the contract to Aberdeen-based PD&MS Group after it submitted a bid to repurpose an existing structure from another offshore wind project, rather than fabricate a brand-new structure. PD&MS employs more than 600 people at bases in Aberdeen and Baku, Azerbaijan.
Construction of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for the Seagreen wind farm is well underway at Montrose Port, with the two-storey office building currently being built at the site also repurposed, having previously been used by an oil and gas supply chain company in Aberdeen.
The 50m communications mast will sit close to the building on the quayside and will be a vital lifeline between the wind farm, 27km off the Angus coast, and the teams onshore. Previously the mast was used to support the Moray East wind farm before being dismantled by PD&MS and placed into storage in Wick ahead of transportation to Montrose.
By recycling the communications mast, PD&MS will reduce the resources used by 68% percent. The process will also see an almost 50 percent reduction in Co2 emissions for the job, compared to if the company was manufacturing a communications from scratch.
Thomas Barter, Head of Business Development - Renewables, at PD&MS, said: “This is a significant award that further marks our continued growth and diversification in the renewables sector. We are delighted that Montrose Port, SSE Renewables and Moray East Offshore Windfarm have all supported our proposal to repurpose a mast from a previous decommissioning project versus fabricating a new mast.
“The circular economy nature of our proposal highlights our innovative and out of the box thinking as well as underpinning our core values to engage with partners to create win-win practical and sustainable solutions.”
Lynn Harper, Business and Commercial Manager at Montrose Port Authority, said: “Supporting the circular economy has been at the forefront of the Seagreen project from the start and the purchase of this repurposed mast is another step towards our goal of being one of the UK’s greenest ports. We were excited to read the proposal from PD&MS and have been delighted at the collaboration between all parties - including Moray East - to make this happen.
“Securing the O&M base for the next 25 years is a major coup for the port as well as the town of Montrose as a whole, and we are delighted to see how many local businesses are benefiting from the project already, and will continue to do so over its lifespan. We look forward to the mast being installed later in the year and have recently issued a tender for the base’s pontoon - the last piece of the infrastructure puzzle for the site.”
Graeme Watters, Lead Marine Co-ordinator for Seagreen at SSE Renewables said: “This is another important step towards Seagreen becoming a reality and the fact that we are able to repurpose previously used materials makes this announcement all the better.
“SSE Renewables and Seagreen are committed to supporting the supply chain in Scotland and so I am pleased to see the contract awarded to PD&MS Group. Their innovative solution will not only save money but save on the carbon footprint of the project and help us in the journey to becoming a net-zero business and country.”
The new 1,075MW 114-turbine Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm being built 27km off the Angus coast in the Firth of Forth is a £3bn joint venture between Total and SSE Renewables and will be Scotland’s largest and deepest offshore wind farm when complete in 2022/23. The wind farm is expected to provide enough electricity for 1.6million homes - around two thirds of all households in Scotland - and will also see the creation of a £1.8million community benefit fund to create a lasting legacy for the town and wider Angus region.