Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:41 UK

Huge crane moves in after delay

The Svanen set off from the Netherlands on 31 March
The Svanen set off from the Netherlands on 31 March

A giant crane which will be used to help build a wind farm off the north Wales coast has finally anchored after high winds forced a delay.

The 80m (262ft) crane, one of the largest in Europe, will lay foundations five miles off Rhyl, Denbighshire.

Strong winds had forced experts to steer it into sheltered waters off Criccieth on Sunday.

The Svanen will sink foundations into the sea bed so that 25 offshore wind turbines can be built.

The Svanen, which should be visible from the shore, was heading for a site off Rhyl when it was diverted on Sunday.

The crane has finally been fixed in place at the eastern end of Constable Bank.

It started its journey from the Dutch city of Rotterdam on 31 March.

The crane pictured from the shore
The crane could easily be seen from the shore on Sunday

Project manager Gareth Penhale said: "The restart of the main offshore construction works is a key milestone in the delivery of this significant renewable energy project.

"Once operational, Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm will generate enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of around 61,000 homes."

He said the power generation would prevent the release tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Timetable

Permission for main offshore works between 1 April and 30 September has been granted with certain works extending to mid-December.

The work timetable is designed to avoid disturbance to a protected bird species, the common scoter.

Work is being allowed at night to meet the deadline - but Mr Penhale said it would be kept to a minimum.

He added: "We are working closely with local environmental health officers to ensure that we do all we can to keep the noise to a minimum, and do not exceed the limits outlined in the consent conditions."

About 140 employees will work on the construction project until September.

The Rhyl project is the latest windfarm scheme in the area. The North Hoyle windfarm, with 30 wind turbines standing more than 40m (131ft) high off the coast of Prestatyn, is already operating after work began there in 2003.




SEE ALSO
Small windfarm's growth opposed
30 Apr 03 |  North West Wales
Windfarm turns residents green
20 Aug 03 |  North East Wales
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