Harland & Wolff wins ‘multimillion pound’ contract

East Belfast shipyard to build massive steel foundations for North Sea wind farm

Harland and Wolff, has won a “multimillion pound” contract to manufacture steel foundation jackets for a major wind farm project in the North Sea. The project will secure 200 jobs in Belfast.

The new business order will also temporarily change the city skyline as the three-legged foundation jackets will stand over 65m tall and weigh more than 845 tonnes when completed. According to Harland and Wolff the massive steel structures could be nearly as prominent as the famous yellow painted Samson and Goliath cranes that dominate the east Belfast skyline.

The Northern Ireland facility won the contract, together with the United Arab Emirates based group Lamprell, from ScottishPower Renewables, which is developing the £2.5 billion East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

The wind energy producer is familiar with Northern Ireland’s offshore wind capabilities, having leased Belfast Harbour’s offshore wind terminal when it was developing its joint venture West of Duddon Sands Wind Farm in the Irish Sea with Dong Energy.



Harland and Wolff has not built a ship in Belfast since 2003. Instead, it has diversified into design engineering, ship repair and the offshore wind sector.

Its latest contract could create new opportunities for the company, which earlier this year was forced to lay off 60 workers.

Lamprell has been contracted to make 60 steel foundation jackets for the new wind farm off the coast of East Anglia, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes per year when completed in 2020.

The Harland and Wolff facility will deliver 24 of the jackets. This will safeguard jobs in Belfast over the project’s 18-month lifetime, due to begin in March 2017.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said he was pleased that Belfast would play an important role in the development of its new wind farm.

“The facilities in Belfast are excellent for supporting offshore wind construction, as we experienced on our West of Duddon Sands project. We hope that the successful delivery of this contract will lead to even more opportunities in the offshore wind industry for Belfast,” he said.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business