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Important arrival at outer harbour

PUBLISHED: 10:50 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:30 30 June 2010

The arrival yesterday morning of one of the biggest vessels so far to grace Great Yarmouth's £50m outer harbour was hailed as a visible sign of the port's growing importance in the burgeoning offshore wind energy market.

The arrival yesterday morning of one of the biggest vessels so far to grace Great Yarmouth's £50m outer harbour was hailed as a visible sign of the port's growing importance in the burgeoning offshore wind energy market.

Gorleston-based firm Seajacks, which has rapidly grown over its two-year history, has agreed to make the harbour home port for its two self-propelled jack-up vessels that have been purpose-built for installing wind turbines.

The first to enter the harbour on a brief visit was the vessel Kraken, which has recently been contracted to perform gas field service work.

It will shortly be leaving again to start a 15-month contract for DONG Energy to install turbines at the Walney offshore windfarm in the Irish Sea.

Meanwhile, sister vessel Leviathan is on a 15-month contract with Fluor to provide installation services at Greater Gabbard, one of the world's largest windfarms, under construction off the Suffolk coast.

Eddie Freeman, chief executive of EastPort UK, said: “A string of vessels have appeared in the harbour but this is the first jack-up vessel we have had.”

Describing Seajacks as a major player in offshore renewables and a beacon for the regional thrust into the field, he said it underlined the importance of having developed a deep-water harbour to protect Yarmouth's position in the industry.

He said: “We have already had cable-laying vessels in port and we expect a lot more windfarm-related work in the future.”

Mr Freeman described it as very supportive of Seajacks to have marked out Yarmouth as its home port and underlined the firm's potential to expand under its new owner, Riverstone Holdings, an energy and power-focused private equity firm.

The transaction was financed out of Riverstone's $3.4bn renewable and alternative energy fund - the world's largest renewable energy fund.

Riverstone plans to grow Seajacks into a leading European offshore wind service business and its initial focus will be on expanding the fleet of vessels.

Blair Ainslie, managing-director of Seajacks, said: “We are pleased to see Kraken coming into the outer harbour. It shows Seajacks is committed to Yarmouth and the surrounding area.

“We believe Yarmouth is perfectly placed to take advantage of the opportunities which are availing themselves as a result of the Crown Estate's announcement of round three windfarm developments.”

He said Seajacks had plans to build a new office and warehouse in South Denes, close to the outer harbour.


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