Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Windfarm cranes sink in Atlantic

Lisa, a similar jack-up barge which is being used in the Rhyl Flats development. Photo: Guy Woodland

Construction of a windfarm off the Denbighshire coast could be delayed after a barge carrying giant cranes sank in the Atlantic.

The barge, KS Titan 1, was travelling from the United States to Liverpool when it was lost at sea. There were no injuries.

Its cranes were due to install turbines at the Rhyl Flats windfarm.

npower Renewables said it would have minimal impact and the windfarm was on course for completion by July 2009.

The KS Titan 1 was being transported on board a "heavy-lift" vessel, the Ancora, which sailed from Pascagoula in the United States but developed engine problems in the mid-Atlantic.

The Titan's loss means that fewer turbines than originally planned will be erected at the wind farm site this year
npower Renewables

With the Ancora rolling and tilting, the KS Titan 1 toppled over and sank, along with its onboard cranes.

The KS Titan 1, which is owned by Singapore-based KS Energy Services, was a new three-legged "jack-up" barge equipped with two cranes capable of lifting 180 tonnes.

A similar barge, the Lisa, is due to start work soon and was supposed to have been joined by KS Titan 1.

A spokeswoman for npower Renewables said the overall impact on the project was "minimal".

Location map
The barge had sailed from a US port off the Gulf of Mexico

She added: "The Titan's loss means that fewer turbines than originally planned will be erected at the wind farm site this year.

"As originally programmed, offshore installation work will be suspended over the winter and will resume in April 2009.

"It is anticipated that the wind farm will be completed in July 2009 in line with the original construction timetable.

"Lisa, the second vessel undertaking turbine construction, is conducting sea trials on site and turbine erection will start shortly."

'No casualties'

In a statement, KS Energy Services said: "During the night from October 26 to October 27, 2008, the heavylift vessel 'M/V Ancora' encountered main engine problems in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

"As a consequence of the vessel's rolling and tilting motion, the Titan-1 shifted to portside, capsized and was lost at sea.

"No injuries or casualties have been reported to any of the crew."

It is not the first time the project has been at the mercy of the sea.

In April 2008, a giant crane ship called the Svanen sailed from Rotterdam and was forced to take shelter off Criccieth, Gwynedd, after high winds delayed its voyage to Rhyl.

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