Atlantis commits to 50% UK supply chain spend as ABB, SSE and JDR Cables win major contracts for Pentland Firth tidal stream project

Atlanatis MeyGen-image-21-nov-2011jpgAtlantis Resources has announced major contractors for the construction phase of the first 6MW tranche of capacity in what is believed to be the world’s larges planned tidal stream project – the MeyGen development in the Pentland Firth (see graphic)

A team at ABB is making solid progress on – and will soon finish-  the design work relating to the onshore control centre at the Ness of Quoys in Caithness, construction of which is due for completion in September 2015.

Underground installation of the cable to the power distribution network, approximately 12 miles from shore, will commence in spring 2015 and will take a couple of months to complete. This work will be carried out by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, the network operator.

The cable supplier, JDR, has secured the order for the subsea export cables which connect the turbines to the onshore control centre. The cables will be manufactured at JDR’s plant in Hartlepool, and are due for delivery and installation in summer next year.

These quadruple armoured cables, totalling some 11.5km in length, will be laid along the seabed and brought to the onshore control centre though conduits drilled in the rock. The foundation suppliers will soon place orders for the 5,500 tonnes of steel required to fabricate the foundations and ballast blocks for all of the turbines.

These will be fabricated at Nigg – in the Cromarty Firth – and at Thurso, close to the project site, and are due to be completed next summer. These foundations rely on gravity to hold them to the seabed, and will remain in place throughout the life of the project. Specially designed connection systems allow the turbines to be installed and retrieved separately so that maintenance can be carried out.

MeyGen’s turbine suppliers, AHH and Atlantis, are also progressing. AHH has placed orders for the generators and gearboxes, which are to be assembled in Andritz’s factory in Ravensburg, Germany, prior to being delivered to Scrabster harbour in 2016.

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources
Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources, said: “There is a real energy energy around the company at present as we prepare for construction to get underway at MeyGen, marking a very significant event in the history of the tidal power sector.

“This project, which we believe to be the largest planned tidal stream development ever, is scheduled to start producing energy in 2016, paving the way for other projects around the world to follow our lead.”

Commenting on building up the Edinburgh-based project team, Dan Pearson, Chief Executive, MeyGen, said: “This is an exhilarating sector to be in, and accordingly attracts some great candidates.

“Earlier this year, we moved the London project delivery team to our new Edinburgh office, and began planning to build up the team for the delivery phase.

“Within a week of reaching agreement on the financing we started an all-out campaign to seek candidates to fill a further six roles. A significant number of CVs have been received and assessed which allowed us to progress to interviews with a number of suitable candidates for each role.

“Three of these positions have been filled and we expect the remaining roles to be filled over the coming months.

“Approximately 50% of our spend is in Britain, and we have really sought to support the local supply chain as we recognise the importance of developing a strong industry here in the UK where tidal resource is so plentiful.”


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