One online and the other back on track -- Burbo Bank and Robin Rigg

Offshore wind power capacity has risen to 404 MW in the UK with the official opening of the Burbo Bank project, ten kilometres off Liverpool in the southern Irish Sea and four miles from the nearest coast. The 90 MW project is owned by Danish national power company Dong Energy. Present at the opening ceremony were British energy minister Malcolm Wicks, his Danish counterpart Jakob Axel Nielsen, the Danish Ambassador to the UK, Birger Riis-Jørgensen, and local politicians. Dong CEO Anders Eldrup opened the wind farm of 25 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines.

"The UK is an island nation with some of the best wind resources in Europe, if not the world," said Wicks. "We have an opportunity to be a global leader in the offshore wind farm sector and the potential economic and environmental benefits are enormous." Nielsen raised the Danish flag. "It is with a certain pride that I as a member of the Danish government watch how Danish companies contribute with specialised knowledge and world class technology to projects all over the world," he said.

Burbo Bank is Dong's second operating wind farm in UK waters. The company has three further British projects under development and is also involved in the fully consented 1000 MW London Array project in the outer Thames estuary. "With the inauguration of Burbo Bank, we strengthen our position in the British market," said Eldrup.

Meantime, in the north Irish Sea, the jack-up barge Lisa is expected to restart work on installing wind turbine foundations at Robin Rigg in the first half of November, says the owner of the barge, Danish construction firm MT Højgaard. The Lisa was returned to its home port of Rotterdam for inspection in September after an accident in which it listed 13 degrees while jacked up on its four legs at the Robin Rigg site. The barge's 38-strong crew were evacuated.

Explaining the reason for the Lisa's instability while supported by its legs, Ole Steen Christensen of MT Højgaard says not enough attention had been paid to the strong currents in the area. These washed the sand from around one of the Lisa's legs, causing the leg to sink into the clay below. The barge later stabilised of its own volition when the three other legs also sank into the clay. In future, the problem can be avoided by more firmly settling the legs into the seabed before undertaking wind foundation installation work. It will just take a bit longer, says Christensen.