Explosive start for new Grimsby base as James Fisher wins Triton Knoll work

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Mar 2019

James Fisher’s expanded Grimsby operations will be put straight to work as it embarks on a summer site clearance campaign for Triton Knoll offshore wind farm. 

The company has been awarded a significant contract by Innogy to ensure the 145 sq km North Sea zone is clear of unexploded ordnance and boulders ahead of the build out of the 857MW project.

A ‘legacy’ of Lincolnshire’s aviation might is the volume of bombs jettisoned into the water in training, or as damaged planes limped back to the county’s many airfields, with pilots not wanting to risk a potential bumpy landing with explosives on board.  Enemy munitions have also been discovered. 

A carefully co-ordinated project over six to nine months will see a seabed area the size of Manchester cleared ready for the 90 turbines, two substations, inter-array and export cabling that will make up the next major Grimsby project. It starts this spring, 32km off the Lincolnshire coast.

Julian Garnsey, project director for Triton Knoll and Innogy, was present at the North Quay launch. He said: “I’m delighted that Triton Knoll has been able to bring James Fisher on board at what is such an exciting time for the industry, and a time of growth for the company as it expands into new facilities here in Grimsby. This latest contract award, coming at the time it does, demonstrates the genuine commitment of the offshore industry to deliver even greater investment into coastal communities and businesses, where jobs and economic regeneration are most needed.”

MORE: Cluster expansion as James Fisher invests further in Grimsby

It comes just a fortnight after the Offshore Wind Sector Deal was announced, with a huge emphasis on British content and value being driven by the developments. James Fisher was founded in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in 1847.

The works will see a number of vessels used with expert crews. 

Fergus Graham, executive director at James Fisher, said: “We are delighted to support Innogy with these essential offshore construction services at Triton Knoll, and proud to be part of this major wind farm infrastructure investment.

Ordnance found during the Race Bank survey campaign.

“Both our latest expansion in Grimsby and the award from Triton Knoll represent James Fisher’s commitment to the renewables industry, to forging valuable long term partnerships, and constantly building our capability to support our customers. Part of this commitment is investing in local infrastructure and adding value to the coastal communities that support the UK in realising its green growth ambitions.”

Having worked previously with Innogy on Gwynt y Mor (North Wales) and Galloper (Suffolk), he added: “This is a landmark contract with Innogy, and I’m really proud of that. We’ve been working with Innogy for several years now. Long term partnerships are exactly what we want to build and Triton Knoll is such a great project to be part of. It is great for this region and the scale of it is quite impressive.” 

Safe removal of one of the finds on Race Bank, a neighbouring wind farm to Triton Knoll.  

While Hornsea will eclipse it on generating capacity, at 1.2GW, Triton Knoll will feature the largest turbines yet seen from the Humber, with MHI Vestas’ 9.5MW turbines selected. It revealed Grimsby’s Royal Dock as its intended construction co-ordination and onward operations and maintenance base earlier this year.

When Triton Knoll's neighbour in the North Sea, Race Bank was built, more than 40 World War Two bombs were safely removed. Ordnance  ranged from small rockets to 1,000lb high explosive bombs, with the most notable item discovered being a German Luftmine B ground mine containing a net explosive quantity of 698kg of hexanite.

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