Wilton Engineering has unveiled a new coatings facility for offshore wind turbine components at Port Clarence. It was officially opened by Tees Valley metro mayor Ben Houchen on 21st June 2018 . The facility covers 2,256 sq metres and stands at a height of 15 metres.
The centre is located at the 54-acre Port Clarence Base and operated by Wilton Group member Universal Coatings and is used for the preparation and painting of steel transition pieces. It was officially opened by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.
Wilton Engineering utilises its Port Clarence base for the fabrication, preparation, painting coating and load-out facilities for its offshore wind turbine components. The site extends some 54 acres incorporating 3 fully equipped separate quays, most significant of which are the main 200 metre quay and 54 metre angle quay. Both these quays are adjacent to an extensively piled and reinforced concrete external construction apron. The apron itself is served by the four halls, each 64.5m x 33m x 23m. Each hall features two 30 tonne overhead (60Te tandem) cranes.
The site also has a 11,500m² dedicated permanent undercover blast and coating facility. There is a 2,000m² cut and prep area with a further 4,000m² of undercover fabrication facilities for pipework and smaller work scopes. Wilton and Universal are currently delivering 21 transition pieces, each weighing 340 tonnes. This will be done via its German client SteelWind Nordenham, which will be installed as part of the Danish power company Ørsted’s Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm.
The facility was unveiled at a ceremony attended by around 80 representatives from the offshore wind industry and members of North East England’s business community. Wilton’s investment is supported by a £600,000 grant from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). In addition the company has received £3m from the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund (TVCF), to support project bonding. The TVCF is a £10m fund designed to help businesses win more contracts when they come with the need to provide Advance Payments Guarantees, Performance and/or warranty bonds.
An additional £300,000 was received from the Tees Valley Combined Authority to assist with the development of the site’s logistics, bringing the total public investment to £3.9m.
Says Wilton Group’s CEO Bill Scott:
“The Preparation & Coatings Facility is part of our continual development of our facilities and services to meet the requirements of the offshore wind industry.
“The project we secured with SteelWind for Ørsted’s Hornsea One offshore wind farm demonstrates the confidence in the capabilities of the UK supply chain to play a part in such a significant renewables development, which we have further enhanced through the investment in this important facility.
“The support we have received from the Combined Authority and the Catalyst Fund have been important elements of the ongoing growth of our business and our increasing market position and we are very grateful to the Mayor for officially opening this facility.”
Says Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen:
“Offshore wind is extremely important to the UK, and one of the really exciting things is that the industry is led from the front by the North East and in particular the Tees Valley. The types of investment that Wilton Engineering is making shows the rest of the industry that the company is serious about its long-term future in the offshore wind industry.
“It also shows that Wilton is serious about its plans and its position within the market, but I think, also, the support that it gets from myself and the Combined Authority, and the funds that we’ve given to support the company, also gives the rest of the industry a signal that actually regional and central government are behind this industry.”