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London Array picks Ramsgate as operations base

London Array has announced that the port of Ramsgate will become London Array’s construction, operations and maintenance base for the project which will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Up to 100 employees will be based at a newly built operations and maintenance base in Kent, which will be complete by summer 2011. The port will also house a temporary base for the wind farm’s construction team.

As part of the agreement, a new pontoon will be built, and a new fuel pumping facility will be funded and constructed by London Array in partnership with Thanet District Council. 

Once operational, the pontoon will berth up to six service vessels capable of reaching the wind farm in around an hour. During the offshore construction period, it is anticipated that 15 service vessels could be operating out of the port of Ramsgate.

London Array’s project director Richard Rigg said: “We’re delighted to have signed up Ramsgate as our construction and operations base as we look to take this exciting project offshore early next year.

“It’s critical to the success of the scheme that we have a base that can offer us everything we need to manage the construction of the first phase of this flagship wind farm and we know that we’ve found just that at Ramsgate.”

Once complete, London Array will be the world’s first 1GW offshore wind farm. Sited in the Thames Estuary, the project will supply enough power for around 750,000 homes – or a quarter of Greater London homes – and displace the emission of 1.9M tonnes of CO2 every year.

London Array will be built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase one, planned to be complete in 2012, will cover 90km2 and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW.  If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.

The project is being developed by a consortium comprising Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar.  The partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.

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