TAG Energy Solutions has become the first UK manufacturer to secure a substantial project for a wind farm in British waters. TAG is based in Billingham and has secured a £20million contract for 16 foundations for E.ON’s Humber Gateway offshore wind farm.
Boost to Teesside economy
In winning the contract, TAG has become the first UK manufacturer to secure a substantial monopile and transition piece order in British waters. Preparation work on the sixteen 60 metre long, 650 tonne monopiles and associated transition pieces will start immediately and will boost employee numbers by 60.
TAG Energy was formed as the Tees Alliance Group in 2007 to build two oil and gas platforms for installation in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the financial crisis saw the bank pull the plug and TAG was forced to lay off 800 staff. TAG Energy Solutions emerged from the previous company and managed to raise £17million from investors, plus £3million from the UK Government to establish a presence in the offshore wind sector. It is the only facility of its kind in the UK.
The volumes of kit involved in the offshore wind industry are phenomenal with some 10million tonnes of steel needed to meet the commitments of Round 3. The TAG facility is capable of processing 100,000 tonnes of steel every year, with the foundations for 3.6MW turbines themselves costing around £1million and an assembled turbine around £5million.
The Round 3 sites may well be using turbines of 10MW. A turbine is made of four components, the tower, the blade and the nacelle, which houses the engine and generally these elements combine to represent 25% of the total value of a contract. The remaining 75% consists of the foundations, cabling, subsea electrics, transport and installation – these are cumulatively known as Balance of Plant (BoP). The North East of England has companies that are leaders in the BoP arena and it is their expertise that could serve the region well.
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