Jobs boost as Great Yarmouth company wins major wind farm contract

Up to 30 jobs are being created after leading offshore wind services company 3sun Group won a major contract to help build a new wind farm off the East of England coast.

The Great Yarmouth-based company has landed the £2.5m-plus task to service the construction stage of East Anglia ONE, from the wind farm’s new base in Lowestoft harbour.

It is one of the biggest single site contract the company has won in its 11-year history.

3sun Group will carry out four major work packages in support of offshore activities. They are:

  • Onshore and offshore services – including labour, from office-based administrators and security staff to offshore technicians; supplying materials and equipment ranging from forklifts to vessels, plus warehousing, scaffolding, onshore fabrication and lifting
  • Training – health and safety training including Global Wind Organisation training, confined space working, rescue drills and onshore emergency drills
  • PPE – providing and maintaining all personal protection equipment.
  •  Waste management – managing and disposing of onshore and offshore waste from paper to cleaning products and paint

It means 3sun is playing a key role in the construction of the £2.5bn, 102-turbine wind farm, being developed by ScottishPower Renewables 45km off Lowestoft, ahead of it going operational in 2020 when it will provide green energy for around 600,000 homes.

3sun Chief Executive Officer Graham Hacon said: “This is one of the biggest single site contracts we have ever had. It will draw on our local knowledge and experience of the offshore renewables industry – using our pool of technicians, but will also create up to another 30 jobs from office workers to technicians.”

He added: “We know it was a very competitive tendering process and, after months of work towards the bid, 3sun is delighted to have been chosen as part of the 50pc of UK content for the project.

“We also hope it will further add to our credibility and showcase our services for other major wind farms in the future.”

The 28-month contract will be overseen by 3sun’s newly-appointed Chief Operations Officer Stephen Rose, drawing on his experience of the construction of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm in his previous role with SSE.

Mr Hacon plans the East Anglia ONE workforce to include candidates from the new East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College’s Great Yarmouth campus, set up to boost the pool of skilled technicians. 3sun Group is leading the project’s employer engagement.

The company has already recruited from the course’s first cohort, this week appointing Michael Montgomery as an inspection technician with the intent of deploying him on the East Anglia ONE contract soon.

“We continue to interview other course attendees with a hope of also providing full-time employment.

3sun, started by Mr Hacon as a “one man band” in 2007, now has 320 staff and a £25m turnover. It is currently involved in constructing windfarms across Europe, including Belgium, Denmark and Germany. It also carries out inspection and maintenance on 75pc of the UK’s offshore wind farms. The company has bases in Great Yarmouth, Esbjerg and Aberdeen including a training academy and an oil and gas division.

Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE Project Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are already working with a number of East Anglian companies and look forward to working with 3sun Group on this important phase of the project. 3sun’s expertise will play a key role in our offshore construction activities for East Anglia ONE.”