Tendring District Council and the Marine Management Organisation have given the green light for a new operations and maintenance base in Harwich for the 353MW Galloper offshore wind farm off the east coast of England.

Early ground works are planned to start by the end of the year, with the base and pontoon expected to be completed in late 2019. Construction works are likely to create around 120 local jobs.

Preferred bidders to carry out the work are Ipswich outfits RG Carter Southern for the design and construction of the buildings and Jackson Civil Engineering Group for the access road. Farrans Construction is lined up to design, fabricate and install the pontoon.

The base will comprise a control room and pontoon, as well as warehousing and office facilities, including a gym.

It will be home to a team of around 60 people operating and maintaining the wind farm for over 20 years.

O&M for the wind farm, which hit full power from the 56 Siemens Gamesa 6.3MW turbines in March, is currently being carried out from temporary facilities at Harwich International Port.

Galloper O&M manager Sean Chenery said: “This is great news, not just for Galloper offshore wind farm but also Harwich, Tendring and the wider east coast as it secures long-term jobs and a significant investment for the area.

“We have had a tremendous amount of support from both individuals and organisations including Tendring District Council, The Haven Gateway Partnership, the local Members of Parliament and our councillors, not to mention nearby businesses who attended our supply chain events.

“With our O&M base secured, we can now look forward to becoming a fully established member of the community.”

Galloper is owned by Innogy, Siemens Financial Services, Sumitomo, ESB and a consortium managed by Green Investment Group and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

The project is owned by innogy SE, Macquarie Capital, Siemens Financial Services, Sumitomo Corporation, ESB and a consortium managed by Green Investment Group and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. innogy SE has led the development and construction of Galloper Offshore Wind Farm and its ongoing operation on behalf of the project partners.