Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash, Image used for illustrative purpose only.
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RTE awards EUR-4.5bn contract for French offshore wind infrastructure

A consortium of Switzerland-based technology group Hitachi Energy and French shipyard company Chantiers de l’Atlantique has been awarded a EUR-4.5-billion (USD 4.84bn) contract to build offshore direct current platforms and onshore converter stations for three offshore wind farms set to be installed off the coast of France.

The structures will connect the Centre Manche 1 and 2, totalling 2.5 GW, and the 1-GW Oleron Island offshore wind farms to the onshore grid operated by RTE. The French grid operator, which also owns the connection of the offshore wind farms, awarded the contract to the Chantiers de l’Atlantique – Hitachi Energy consortium following an international call for bids.

Announcing the assignment on Thursday, Hitachi Energy said that the companies will build three high voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore platforms and three onshore converter stations.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique will invest close to EUR 100 million to expand its shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and double its production capacity of electrical platforms to make room for their construction. The company will also acquire a paint cell with a total area of 4,600 square metre and capitalise on its facilities, including its slipway equipped with gantry cranes lifting up to 1,400 tonnes, Hitachi Energy said.

The Centre Manche 1 offshore wind project was awarded to Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie, a company of France’s EDF Renouvelables and UK-based Canadian joint venture Maple Power in a tender in March 2023.

The successful bidders for the Oleron and Centre Manche 2 projects are due to be announced in 2024.

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