Jobs boost for east as company behind world’s biggest offshore wind projects awards contract

James Fisher Marine Services and GEV Wind Power have landed a major new contract across five countri

James Fisher Marine Services and GEV Wind Power have landed a major new contract across five countries providing blade maintenance and repair for Vattenfall's 900-plus onshore and offshore wind turbines Picture: VATTENFALL - Credit: Archant

East Anglian businesses have landed a major jobs-boosting contract with an energy giant poised to create two of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast.

James Fisher Marine Services and GEV Wind Power are set to export their expertise in blade maintenance and repair as they work on Vattenfall’s wind turbine towers across the Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden – and the UK.

The two-year minimum deal – covering 50 of the Swedish multinational’s onshore and offshore wind farms – will keep more than 900 wind turbines turning safely across the five countries.

MORE – Region’s bid to break into American offshore wind energy marketGEV Wind Power, which has a base in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, and James Fisher Marine Services, based in Lowestoft, say they can’t reveal exactly how many jobs will be created, as that will emerge once scopes of work have been agreed.

Vattenfall has already awarded another Norfolk-based wind business a framework agreement for inspection services across the same five countries.

Worley, formerly 3sun Group, based at Great Yarmouth, won the largest contract in its wind operation’s history last November.

Vattenfall hopes to win consent for Norfolk Vanguard next month. Along with Norfolk Boreas, the projects will add 3.6 gigawatt - enough to power 3.9m UK homes - to the 1 gigawatts of wind and solar power Vattenfall has already created as part of a £3.5bn investment in the UK.

Vattenfall UK boss Danielle Lane said the company was committed to investing in the local supply chain in line with an Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced last year.

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“Our collaboration with GEV Wind Power and James Fisher Marine Services, both based in the East of England, demonstrates our commitment to enable the untapped potential of UK companies in the renewables sector to be realised, and boosting local employment and economic regeneration,” she said.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal had boosted investor confidence, as it defined a number of targets to be achieved by the UK government and the offshore wind sector, she said. “These targets cover offshore wind deployment, creation and security of tens of thousands of jobs.”

Barry Jennings, managing director at James Fisher Marine Services, said they were “delighted”.

David Fletcher, chief executive of GEV Wind Power CEO, said the exact number of jobs would be clear once scopes of work had been agreed.