Wilton Engineering has completed its first tranche of offshore wind farm structures, which have departed its Teesside base for the North Sea.

The four 340-tonne Transition Pieces for offshore wind turbines are part of a project for German company Steelwind to provide 21 structures for Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One.

Completed at Wilton Engineering’s vast fabrication facilities and painted within its state-of-the-art coatings facility on the banks of the River Tees in North East England, the Transition Pieces were loaded vertically onto a barge to be transported to the offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast.

The cylindrical shell of the transition pieces was fabricated by Wilton’s client Steelwind in Germany before they were transported to Wilton’s 54-acre site on Teesside. Wilton’s scope of works is to manufacture, install and fit all secondary steelwork and associated electrical installations.

This included internal and external platforms, concrete platforms, ladders, boat landings.  Wilton also installed electrics and navigational aids prior to managing the load out to the wind farm location.

Shot blasting and painting was carried out on site by Wilton’s sister company Universal Coatings utilising its new 2,256 square metre Preparation & Coatings facility.  Part of a £3m investment, the facility provides an advanced working area for technicians with its breathing air system compliant to the new EN12021 standard.

Overcoming the challenge of humidity, which is a major source of corrosion whilst painting, a specialist dehumidifier has been installed, which reduces humidity in the 18 metre high building from the standard 80 percent requirement to just 10 percent.

As part of the transition piece project, Wilton has engaged a predominately North East supply chain, including a number of new suppliers to the renewable market such as Lionweld Kennedy and Marine Fabricators.   Across the project, Wilton is ensuring that more than 95% of its project delivery contained UK content.

Bill Scott, Chief Executive of Wilton Engineering, said:

“We’re very proud to see the first group of transition pieces leave our Port Clarence facility for Hornsea Project One, built to world class standards of quality.  It is testament to the capabilities and expertise of our workforce, along with our North East supply chain, that we were not only able to secure this export project, but are delivering it completely compliant to the specifications required by Steelwind and Ørsted.”

He added: “The North East has a strong, collaborative and integrated supply chain that maximises on its infrastructure, such as the ports and rivers, and its location on the UK’s East Coast, to be able to effectively service offshore wind farm developments such as Hornsea Project One.

“Now the Government has confirmed the biennial schedule of Contract for Difference auctions, which will bring stability to the sector and help with the planning of investment programmes, the region is well-placed to support the ongoing deployment of offshore wind as an essential part of the UK energy mix.”