Harland and Wolff revitalises its future: Peter Hain

Thursday 31 May 2007

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries displayed its contribution to Northern Ireland’s growing renewable energy industry during a visit to its Belfast yard by the Secretary of State, Peter Hain.

Mr Hain, who has consistently put green issues to the top of the local energy agenda, saw at first hand, the progress being made in the construction of a tidal stream electricity turbine, which is being assembled at Harland and Wolff by Marine Current Turbines. The 1megawatt twin turbine is scheduled for installation in Strangford Lough later this year.

The Secretary of State is keen for businesses here to seize opportunities resulting from increased demand in renewable energy and congratulated both companies in their development of this emerging technology.

He said: “Harland and Wolff’s ability to make use of its skills base and extensive facilities in order to diversify into the renewable energy sector, is most encouraging.

“With an excellent logistics base, alongside marine design and construction experience, Harland and Wolff continues to prove that it can support the rapid development of renewable energy technologies, including tide and wave power generators – such as this exciting project from Marine Current Turbines.

“This work follows a successful wind turbine project, which saw Harland and Wolff assembling and delivering 30 wind turbines, each measuring 90 metres in height, to a wind farm off the coast of Cumbria. An even bigger contract has been secured for next year.

“As demand for such technologies continues to grow, it presents Northern Ireland businesses with opportunities that must be seized and developed. Harland and Wolff has set an example to others and we must build on this to secure a firm foothold in the renewables sector as part of the drive to make Northern Ireland a sustainable energy exemplar."

Notes to Editors:

1. Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries has an annual turn over of £25m employs up to 500 people at any given time. It maintains a strong manufacturing foothold in ship-building and has compatible projects in the Offshore, Civil, Renewable Energy and Design Engineering Sectors.
2. Marine Current Turbines was set up to pioneer technical and commercial development of tidal stream turbines. It installed a 300KW prototype tidal turbine system in Lynmouth Co Devon in 2003. This was the world’s first tidal stream powered device of this size and power rating to be installed in an offshore location. The Strangford Lough installation will be the commercial phase of this development.