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Safe arrival of last four containers built by JGC

By Gordon Calder

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THE four remaining containers constructed by Caithness firm JGC Engineering and Technical Services for the £2.6 billion Moray East offshore wind farm have been transported to Belgium.

They were taken from the firm's Janetstown base on the outskirts of Thurso to Scrabster at the weekend and shipped to Antwerp, where they will be fitted out. Some JGC staff will be involved in the work there.

The firm was contracted by Siemens to build eight of 12 massive containers which will form the three substation platforms at the Moray East site, off the Caithness coast. They will act as the nerve centre for the development and will house all the electrical equipment as well as providing emergency refuge.

Around 60 people worked on the project, including up to 10 apprentices.

Containers constructed by JGC for the £2.6 billion Moray East offshore wind farm starting their journey from Caithness.
Containers constructed by JGC for the £2.6 billion Moray East offshore wind farm starting their journey from Caithness.

JGC company director Stephen Sutherland confirmed the last four containers had arrived safely at their destination on Tuesday. "Everything went very well," he said.

Mr Sutherland said the firm was "very proud" of the positive comments made by Siemens about the quality of the product and felt that augured well for the future.

JGC is hoping to secure other offshore work but, in the meantime, is working on contracts at Dounreay on the expansion of the intermediate-level nuclear waste stores and the decommissioning of the Dounreay Materials Test Reactor (DMTR).

Mr Sutherland stressed the firm – which also has a base at Harpsdale – works in a variety of industries including renewables, nuclear and oil and gas.

"It is good to have options as if it is quiet in one sector we can pick up something in another and keep our workforce employed. We have to look ahead the whole time to ensure we have work for the staff," Mr Sutherland added.

Sarah Graham, transmission infrastructure package manager for Moray East, said: "The completion of these containers is the first major milestone in the construction of Moray East’s offshore infrastructure and has set a high standard for quality and safety that we will strive to build on as we move into the next stage of fabrication for the offshore substation platforms."

Mark Pilling, managing director of Siemens Transmission and Distribution, said: "The containers are the heart of the substation, providing the intelligence and safety equipment to run the wind farm effectively. This is the first of many milestones we will achieve on this project to provide low-cost, low-carbon electricity."

Once the containers have been fitted out they will be lifted onto the offshore substation platforms, where cabling and equipment will be added, and sailed out to their locations in the Moray Firth in summer 2020.

The wind farm, beingbuilt by developers EDP Renewables, Diamond Generating Europe and Engie, is expected to produce enough electricity to power almost a million homes.

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