THE project to create a wind farm off Clacton has suffered a blow, with the news the company building it has gone into liquidation.

Aberdeen-based Oceanteam, which specialises in offshore construction support vessels and barges, is being wound up.

The development is likely to set work on the 48-turbine Gunfleet Sands wind farm back by at least a month.

It is a double blow for the wind farm, about four miles off the Clacton coast, which was already hit by the breakdown of the Titan 2 crane vessel which was installing the blades.

Peter Sills, spokesman for Dong Energy, the Danish energy company behind the plan said it was still fully committed to finishing the project.

Only five turbines have been completed so far.

He said: “The contractor, Oceanteam, has gone into liquidation and is no longer under contract.

“We have a new contractor, a Danish company called CTO, which is going to start laying the cables connecting each of the turbines to the offshore substation.”

He added: “The Titan 2 installation vessel is in Harwich with technical problems. One of the cranes broke down and we have been searching the US for spares. It is expected to be back in service this weekend.”

Oceanteam was unavailable for comment, but a statement on the company website reads: “Due to the incurred losses on several cable installation projects performed by the company’s UK subsidiaries, the liquidity situation in Oceanteam has become very tight.

“The board of the company has therefore decided to terminate this funding. It is expected that as a consequence of this decision Oceanteam Power and Umbilical and Oceanteam Subsea Services, both based in Aberdeen, will need to file for liquidation.”

* PLANS to build the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off the Kent coast are to go ahead, it was announced today.
E.ON said the first phase of the London Array project would start later this year and could be generating power in time for the 2012 Olympics.
The 341-turbine wind farm will be 12 miles offshore. E.ON and its partners Dong Energy and Masdar are sinking £1.96billion in the first 630-megawatt phase of the wind farm, in the Thames Estuary. The project will supply enough power for about 750,000 homes – a quarter of all those in Greater London..
Fears had been raised for the project after Shell WindEnergy pulled out, but Dong, Eon and Masdar, have promised to forge ahead..
Anders Eldrup, chief executive of Dong, said: “Dong Energy has built approximately half of all offshore wind farms in operation in the world today.”