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First 'suction bucket' foundation is successfully installed

26 February 2013

The first of two innovative suction-installed foundations that represent the first stage of construction of the world's largest offshore wind farm have been installed at the Dogger Bank.

The two structures, known as 'Bucket Foundations', will support  meteorological masts that will provide essential weather information. They were developed by Danish firm Universal Foundation - a Fred. Olsen-related company - through The Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme, which takes the best designs for offshore wind turbine foundations from design through to deployment.

"This is the first deployment of the Bucket Foundation in UK waters," said Phil De Villiers, head of the OWA programme. "We're excited about what this means for offshore wind development. The foundations represent 30 percent of the total cost of a wind farm. Reducing the capital and installation costs could really make an impact on the viability of future projects."

Dogger Bank is being developed by Forewind Limited - a consortium comprised of leading international energy companies RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil.

"This is certainly a momentous occasion for us," said Lee Clarke, Forewind project director and general manager. "The foundation is the first structure put in place at the Dogger Bank site. It's a sign that this project is really beginning to take shape."

The met masts and foundations were fabricated by Fred. Olsen-related companies under an EPCI contract between Forewind and Fred. Olsen United. They are being ferried to the site from the new Harland and Wolff fabrication plant in Belfast by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier's 132m jack-up vessel Brave Tern. This was the inaugural job for the Brave Tern, which was built in Dubai last year.

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