Friday, July 30, 2010

Wind Farms Prompt Port Development

Hartlepool the Latest to Benefit from New Technology Boom
Shipping News Feature

UK - PD Ports has welcomed the decision by a major supplier to the offshore energy sector to more than double its facility at Hartlepool dock. This news comes as JDR Cable Systems is backed by UK Government funding to help continue its groundbreaking work in wind farm development.

JDR Cable Systems, a leading provider of subsea power cables, umbilical systems and marine cables for the energy sector, has signed a deal to expand its current 100,000 sq ft facility at Hartlepool, opened only last July, by a further 116,000 sq ft to meet demand.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports’ MD, bulks, ports and logistics, said:

“The expansion of JDR is very good news as it reinforces Hartlepool’s position in the offshore renewable energy sector and the confidence our customers have in the port’s ability to facilitate the needs of offshore manufacturers. It is evidence that our plans to build a renewable energy supply chain cluster in the region is progressing well.”

JDR’s purpose-built, state-of-the-art, 100,000 sq ft facility, which incorporates two carousels to process the 2,200 tonne cables, is the only site in the UK designed specifically to manufacture subsea power cables for the oil and gas sector and the burgeoning offshore renewables market. The location at Hartlepool dock allows the cables to be spooled directly onto cable-laying vessels. The Hartlepool site is also strategically placed for the Dogger Bank’s North Sea expansion zone which the UK Government recently targeted as a preferred site for wind farm technology.

 JDR has recently completed a 25 km subsea power cable and hub for the South West Regional Development Agency's Wave Hub project - to be deployed off the coast of Cornwall at the end of July. JDR has also just finished work on 200 km of array cables for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm and has begun work on 230 km of array cables for the London Array offshore wind farm. JDR was recently awarded a £2million grant to develop high voltage cables. The award forms part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC's) plans to help UK companies invest in the equipment and technology required to support the country’s transition to a low carbon future.

Patrick Phelan, Managing Director of JDR Cable Systems Ltd, said:

“JDR is pleased to be located in Hartlepool with PD Ports as a partner. We have already reaped the benefits of having direct access to the North Sea and the proximity to all the major offshore wind farms currently under development in the UK. In addition, the ability to expand our facilities as the market demands is essential to our strategy of growth and diversification.”