Lamprell to build in UAE parts for North Sea wind farm

The London-listed oil services company Lamprell will manufacture in the UAE components for offshore wind turbines in the North Sea, helping to offset downturns in the oil and gas sector.

The rig maker won a US$225 million contract to procure, fabricate and supply 60 foundations to ScottishPower Renewables that will be used to install 102 turbines, each with a capacity of 7 megawatts at the East Anglia One offshore wind farm.

This will generate enough power for more than 500,000 homes a year. The Northern Ireland-based marine construction company Harland & Wolff will undertake assembly for 24 jackets, which will bring 200 jobs to Belfast.

“Our contracting strategy will ensure that over 50 per cent of the overall lifetime investment goes to suppliers in the UK,” said Keith Anderson, the chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables.

This will trickle into work at Lamprell’s yards in Jebel Ali and Sharjah, which will start work in March.

“This project gives us an opportunity to demonstrate how our fabrication skills are once again transferable to other areas of the energy industry and beyond our traditional sweet spot in the oil and gas sector,” said Christopher McDonald, the chief executive of Lamprell.

The oil services company has been hit by the oil price rout that has lasted for more than two years.

Lamprell swung to a loss of $4.4m in its half-year earnings and said last month that it expected the hydrocarbon sector to remain challenging with lower-than-expected revenue for this year.​

While the hydrocarbon sector has taken a beating, the offshore wind sector reached historical highs last year.

More than 3 gigawatts of new offshore wind power capacity was connected to the European grid last year, more than doubling the amount for the previous year and the largest yearly addition of capacity to date, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

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Plan to boost public schools

A major shake-up of government-run schools was rolled out across the country in 2017. Known as the Emirati School Model, it placed more emphasis on maths and science while also adding practical skills to the curriculum.

It was accompanied by the promise of a Dh5 billion investment, over six years, to pay for state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements.

Aspects of the school model will be extended to international private schools, the education minister has previously suggested.

Recent developments have also included the introduction of moral education - which public and private schools both must teach - along with reform of the exams system and tougher teacher licensing requirements.


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