Dong wind turbine

The three-year contract with Dong Energy will see CWind Challenger vessel transfer technicians and equipment to the wind farm during operations and maintenance work.

There is an option to extend the contract for a further two years. CWind will operate the vessel from Brightlingsea in Essex.

Dong Energy head of operations Gunfleet Sands Thomas Engmose said: "CWind’s vessels have proven successful at Dong Energy sites on several occasions in the past and their capabilities continue to match our demands.

"We are keen to have strong local content but from an operations point of view technician safety and comfort, availability on contract and outstanding fleet management are central. Fortunately for us, CWind satisfies on all of those counts."

Situated about 7km south-east of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, the Gunfleet Sands project features two phases.

Phases one and two feature 30 and 18 turbines, respectively. The wind farm generated its first power in August 2009 and reached full production in early 2010.

The first phase consisted of a lease area of 10km² while the total area of phase two is 7.5km².

The wind farm generates enough energy to power about 100,000 homes in the UK and also reduces 480,000t of CO2 emissions.

Image: The first and second phases of the Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm feature30 and 18 turbines respectively. Photo: courtesy of DONG Energy A/S.