Huge wind farm parts shipped from Fife

image captionThe weight of the barge with the four jackets is more than 5,000 tonnes

Huge steel foundations each weighing as much as 80 elephants are being shipped from Fife to an offshore wind farm.

Energy company, Vattenfall, is ready to take delivery of the first four of 31 steel foundations for its 150 megawatt Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm.

Known as jacket substructures, they are 45 metres high and weigh 450 tonnes.

They have left BiFab manufacturing facility in Methil, where they were constructed, and are due to arrive at the wind farm on Friday.

The wind farm is being built in the Irish Sea, 6.2 miles (10km) off Barrow-In-Furness.

It will have 30 wind turbines and the jackets will be installed by craneship.

An electrical sub-station will sit on the extra jacket.

The colossal steel structures, sitting on the sea bed fixed by four steel pins, known as "piles", will act as giant sub-sea platforms and will provide support for the individual wind turbines.

The total weight of the barge making the trip, with the four jackets included, is more than 5,000 tonnes.

David Hodkinson, head of development at Vattenfall Wind Power in the UK, said: "The delivery of the jackets is an important development for our project in the Irish Sea and underlines Vattenfall's commitment to engage with the Scottish and UK economy and to assist in establishing a supply chain for the renewable energy sector.

John Robertson, BiFab managing director, said: "Loading out these jackets substructures represents a major milestone in our dealings with Vattenfall.

"The agreement to provide these jackets has helped to support more than 370 jobs at the Methil yard here at Fife Energy Park."

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