Local heroes

ScottishPower Renewables has reinforced its commitment to working with local suppliers on East Anglia ONE by awarding James Fisher Marine Services a multi-million-pound scheduled maintenance contract.

The latter has created 20 new jobs at one of its bases, in Lowestoft, to help fulfil the new £5.6 million ‘above water balance of plant’ contract.

‘Balance of plant’ usually covers all of the supporting components for a power plant and in this instance will see the company providing scheduled and corrective maintenance for the 714MW windfarm.

Work will include statutory inspections, equipment maintenance and structural integrity checks for components.

Staff will work both onshore and offshore servicing the windfarm during the three-year contract, which has an extension option after the initial contract term.

It is another feather in the cap for James Fisher Marine Services, which has been awarded several contracts – worth more than £35m – to support the construction of East Anglia ONE. They include seabed clearance, unexploded ordinance investigation and the provision of integrated marine services.

Founded 170-odd years ago as a ship owner and operator, the company that is James Fisher today provides tailored products and expert services for the oil and gas, marine renewables, shipping and defence industries.

On land, it is also a supplier to the nuclear, construction and transportation sectors, providing safety-critical knowledge and skills in engineering environments.

Scott McMillan, operations and maintenance director at James Fisher Marine Services, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected by ScottishPower Renewables and to extend our close working relationship with the East Anglia ONE team.

“As a company rooted in Lowestoft, we are really proud to be part of a local supply chain that celebrated a collective achievement when the wind farm first generated power earlier this year.”

East Anglia ONE not only represented a huge step in the right direction in terms of producing the clean energy the UK needed, he added, but there was an additional bonus. “It is providing opportunities to the people and businesses of East Anglia.”

ScottishPower Renewables has pledged to spend more than £70m with businesses across the region in bringing the ONE offshore windfarm to fruition.

Project director with the company, Charlie Jordan said: “We’re delighted to have such a strong supply chain in East Anglia and we’re really pleased to be furthering our working relationship with the James Fisher team.

“Many fantastic companies from across the East of England have played important roles in bringing East Anglia ONE to fruition and we are committed to working with the region’s businesses on our current and future East Anglia windfarms.”

ScottishPower Renewables started the way it meant to go on back in 2015/16 when it announced a 25-year commitment to the Port of Lowestoft.

This was recently cemented with the opening of a £25m state-of-the-art operations and maintenance centre at the port. It is now at the heart of all day-to-day operations for ONE, including the co-ordination of marine services, and as such, the main office for contractors working on the project.

While around 100 new direct jobs have been created at the base, ultimately many more will be generated among the hundreds of supply chain companies that frequent the site every year.

ScottishPower Renewables’ windfarm projects would contribute substantially to the East Anglian economy, said Mr. Jordan.

Boasting 102 turbines located 43km off the Suffolk coast, East Anglia ONE is a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.

The windfarm supplied its first power to the grid last September and once fully operational this year, the £2.5bn project will provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes annually.

East Anglia ONE is the first of four offshore windfarms ScottishPower Renewables is developing in the region.

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