Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Building of windfarm is suspended

The Lisa, a similar barge to the KS Titan 1. Photo: Guy Woodland
The Lisa, a similar barge to the one which sank, is being used at Rhyl Flats.

The building of an offshore windfarm has had to be halted because of bad weather and the sinking of cranes in the Atlantic.

It means the Rhyl Flats project will now be delayed by up to three months.

It comes after a barge carrying giant cranes to build the turbines sank en route from America in October.

Richard Watson, turbine construction manager with npower Renewables, said the windfarm should now be fully operational late in 2009.

He added: "Since the conditions of our consent to build the offshore elements of the wind farm require us to suspend works over the winter from mid-December, we have taken the practical decision to cease works offshore now."

Second vessel

"Discussions are progressing well to secure a second vessel to install the wind turbines next year."

The main offshore construction works at the Rhyl Flats site started in April 2008, with the installation of the foundation piles, which was completed in July.

Work will be carried out on the wind farm's onshore substation and offshore export cables throughout winter and continue into the spring.

When the loss of the crane barge, the KS Titan 1, was announced in October, a spokeswoman for npower Renewables said the overall impact on the project would be "minimal".

It was being transported on board a "heavy-lift" vessel, the Ancora, but toppled over and sank, along with its onboard cranes.

npower Renewables has said that when Rhyl Flats is up and running, it will generate enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of around 61,000 homes.

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