Danish infrastructure contractor Per Aarsleff and Germany’s Bilfinger Berger GmbH have entered a contract for the execution of the first phase of the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen.
The first phase of the wind farm, to be sited in the Thames Estuary off the English coast, will have a capacity of 630 MW. The entire project, when completed, will have a total planned capacity of 1000 MW – enough power to meet the needs of a quarter of all the homes in London.
The project is being carried out by a consortium consisting of Denmark’s DONG Energy, Germany’s E.ON Climate & Renewables and the Masdar renewable energy initiative from Abu Dhabi, and will take place from 2009 to 2012. The contract value is approximately DKK 3 bn (USD 595m) and is the biggest in Per Aarsleff’s 62 year history.
The contract consists of design, production and installation of 177 monopile foundations – 175 for the wind turbines and 2 for the transformer stations – as well as installation of the wind turbines themselves. The monopiles* are up to 60 metres in length and weigh 500 tons, while the transitional pieces** are 30 metres long and weigh 400 tons.
The order is of great importance to Aarsleff. ”We focus very much on establishment of offshore wind farms in Northern Europe, and we are well-prepared for the development of solutions that are optimised in terms of technology, economy and time”, writes deputy general manager Lars Carlsen in a press release.
* the monopile, which supports the entire wind turbine assembly, is a massive steel tube hammered a considerable distance into the sea bed with great vertical precision – Ed.
** the transition piece is set on top of the monopile, and carries the turbine tower as well as the access gantry – Ed.