Dong Energy has taken early occupancy of its new Belfast Harbour base. The 22ha base took just 26 months to develop, from initial concept to construction completion, with staff moving in last week, Windpower Offshore can report.
The company’s new Belfast terminal boasts a 480m quayside capable of accommodating three vessels at a time. It was financed and built by Belfast Harbour. The original schedule foresaw Dong's lease beginning in January 2013, but early construction completion on 17 October allowed the company to take up residence last week.
From early next year, the site will be used to store, pre-assemble and ship foundation and turbine components for the 389MW West of Duddon Sands project.
The speed with which the Belfast base was developed was thanks, in part, to a well-organised and co-ordinated response from Belfast’s local authorities, explained Bjarne Jacobsen, Dong’s manager for harbour sites and transportation logistics, speaking with Windpower Offshore.
The terminal is expected to serve as a long-term base for Dong, given the company’s substantial offshore wind project pipeline in areas easily accessible by ship from Belfast. These include a recently-awarded 600MW project in Northern Irish waters and the much larger 4.2GW Round 3 Irish Sea zone.
An official unveiling of Dong’s Belfast facility is planned for the first quarter of 2013, once construction of West of Duddon Sands has begun.
While most UK harbours continue to struggle to win long-term offshore wind-related tenants, Belfast Harbour has quietly been building a successful track record within the sector.
The port has been used for the storage and pre-assembly of turbines during construction of Ormonde, Barrow and Robin Rigg offshore wind farms and its tenant, Harland & Wolf, built the Siemens’ offshore substation platform for Gwynt y Môr as well as the foundations for met masts destined for Firth of Forth and Dogger Bank.