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Blackwell wins first contractor job on £500m Clyde Wind Farm

Essex-based civil engineering firm Blackwell has been appointed as the first main contractor for the £500 million Clyde Wind Farm - the largest approved onshore wind farm scheme in Europe.

Blackwell will work as the principal contractor on the south section of the site in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The 47-week contract was awarded by developer SSE Renewables, which won consent for the scheme in July 2008.

It is the first of three main packages to be awarded on the project. The other two packages, for the northern and central sections of the site, are due to be awarded in the coming months.

The bid process for the major works began shortly after planning permission was granted, but SSE was forced to ask contractors to re-tender last year after a decision was made to split the site into three sections.

Plans for the Clyde Wind Farm, which will be situated between Abington and Moffat covering an area of 47.5 sq km, include the construction of 152 turbines with a capacity of 350MW.

Blackwell said it would be starting work immediately, with a scheduled completion date of November.

SSE Renewables construction project manager Brian McFarlane said: “Depending on the weather, it is intended that work will commence in earnest over the next couple of weeks, with our expectation that the first turbine will be
erected and producing energy by the end of this summer.”

Blackwell associate director Steve Johnson added: “We are looking forward to meeting the challenges of the scheme, including substantial onsite earthworks to construct more than 30 km of tracks, along with the batching
and placing of 21,000 cu m of concrete this year.”

SSE has promised that more than £200m of the contracts for the development will be awarded to Scottish firms.

More than 200 construction jobs are expected to be created by the scheme, which is scheduled to take three years to complete.