RWE Innogy awards contract for offshore high-voltage cable to nkt cables GmbH

Contract value of around EUR 35 million. Preparation for construction of Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm on schedule.

RWE Innogy and nkt cables GmbH have today signed a contract for the manufacture and delivery of high-voltage sea cable for the Welsh offshore wind farm “Gwynt y Môr”.

In total, nkt cables will produce around 83 kilometres of offshore cable. The contract value is around EUR 35 million. Besides RWE Innogy, the Munich-based municipal utility company Stadtwerke München, and Siemens are also involved in Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.

“We’re well on schedule with preparations for the construction of our third offshore wind farm off the coast of North Wales,” said Paul Coffey, Chief Operating Officer at RWE Innogy. “With contracts in place for the supply of turbines, substations and offshore export cabling, we have now secured the key project components to enable us to begin with offshore construction as planned in the autumn of next year.”

In total, nkt cables will produce four 132 kV high-voltage offshore cables for RWE Innogy at its newly built cable plant in Cologne. Manufacturing should begin at the end of 2011 and be completed in mid-2012.

When manufactured, the high voltage submarine cables will be taken via the Rhine to Rotterdam. A special cable-laying vessel will deliver the cables to Liverpool Bay off the coast of North Wales. Later, these high voltage cables will transmit the energy produced by the total of 160 wind turbines of the “Gwynt y Môr” wind farm across 20 kilometres to the coast, where the closest feeding point on land is located at St Asaph.

Each of these cables is around 20 centimetres thick and is protected with a robust armouring against the extreme loads at high sea, such as corrosion or abrasion through tides and waves. At the same time these cables enable a maximum energy transmission over long distances.

Construction of the transformer substation on land has already begun. The building work at sea will start in the autumn of 2011. From then on, 160 x 3.6 megawatt wind turbines will be installed at the wind farm site around 13 kilometres off the coast of North Wales in water depths of between 12 and 28 metres.

The work will be carried out from one of the world’s biggest offshore construction ships. RWE Innogy has placed an order for the building of two of these ships, each valued at around EUR 100 million, with a Korean shipyard. Gwynt y Môr is scheduled to begin exporting energy in 2013, with the wind farm expected to be completed in 2014. Once fully constructed, the wind farm will have an installed capacity of 576 megawatts (MW), capable of generating enough clean electricity energy to meet the energy needs of the equivalent of around 400,000 UK homes every year.

In parallel with the construction of Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, RWE Innogy is building the Nordsee Ost Offshore Wind Farm (295 MW) in German territorial waters, and this is due for completion in 2013.

Off the north coast of Wales, RWE Innogy is already operating North Hoyle (60 MW) and Rhyl Flats (90 MW) offshore wind farms. In addition, the company presently has a 50 percent stake in the construction of the 504 MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, off the southeast coast of England. Alone or with partners, RWE Innogy is presently developing further major projects in the UK, such as Triton Knoll (1,200 MW), Atlantic Array (1,500 MW), Galloper (500 MW) and Dogger Bank (around 9,000 MW). Furthermore, RWE Innogy is developing the Innogy Nordsee 1 Offshore Wind Farm, 40 kilometres to the north of the North Sea island of Juist. With around 960 megawatts of installed capacity, this is the biggest offshore wind farm planned off the German coast. In Belgium, the company is also involved in the Thornton Bank Offshore Wind Farm, where a first stage (30 MW) is already in commercial operation. The company is also developing the offshore wind project Tromp Binnen (300 MW) in the Netherlands.

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Source: rwe, September 14, 2010

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