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United Kingdom

Work suspended on Rhyl Flats wind farm after jack-up barge lost at sea

Work on building the 90 MW Rhyl Flats offshore wind farm off north Wales has been suspended after one of the two installation vessels was lost in the Atlantic en route to the UK. The KS Titan 1, a jack-up barge, was lost overboard when the heavy lift vessel Ancora that was transporting the vessel from the US to the wind farm site in Liverpool Bay encountered engine problems. The stricken Ancora started rolling in the seas and the Titan 1 shifted to port, slid overboard, capsized and sank. Poor weather conditions at Rhyl Flats site have further delayed progress in installing the turbines, says Richard Watson from project owner N power. "Since the conditions of our consent to build the offshore elements of the wind farm require us to suspend works over the winter from mid-December to the end of March 2009, we have taken the practical decision to cease works offshore now and start again in April next year," says Wilson. Discussions are underway to secure a second vessel to join the Lisa A jack-up barge in installing the turbines this spring, he adds. Npower expects the delays to lengthen the project building schedule by two to three months, with the wind farm fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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