A NORTH-EAST marine engineering firm has secured a deal to protect a major European wind farm.

Tekmar Energy, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is working with Van Oord on the Eneco Luchterduinen development, off the Netherlands' coast.

The deal will see the company supply cable protection for the 43-turbine wind farm, which is expected to generate power for 150,000 homes from 2015.

Loading article content

Tekmar will work with cable suppliers to install 87 cable protection systems and will also provide engineering services to protect the power cables for their 25-year service life.

The contract is the firm's third with Van Oord after previously providing support design features on a high voltage substation and cable entry, and it will also offer offshore support for the start of the project.

James Ritchie, Tekmar chief executive, said the contract was further proof of the company's standing in the offshore energy industry.

He said: “The award win on another major project demonstrates our industry reputation for delivering high-value solutions, which are underpinned by our engineering expertise.”

He added the deal means the company, which employs about 75 people, has now supplied more than 3,000 protection systems to energy developments and worked on more than 25 high-profile offshore wind projects.

Tekmar previously provided cable protection for the 80-turbine Meerwind wind farm, in the German North Sea, that will help power about 360,000 homes, and also designed watertight seals for the Teesside wind farm, off the coast of Redcar, which stop corrosion between turbine monopiles and underground cabling.

Wilbert van Boldrik, Van Oord project manager, said the firm was impressed with Tekmar's track record.

He said: “We are pleased with this next step in preparing for the offshore works, which are about to start in June, and look forward to a fruitful co-operation with Tekmar.”

Last year, Tekmar announced plans to return to the oil and gas market.

It revealed proposals to generate revenue of £15m from its oil and gas operations by 2016, as part of wider ambitions to increase overall turnover from £22m to £50m and create between 30 and 50 jobs.

Bosses are also hoping to open a base in Aberdeen, while expanding its existing North-East operations, and will more than treble its headquarters to 102,000sq ft to maintain the firm's growth.