Centrica announces construction contracts for Barrow windfarm

Centrica plc and DONG A/S, the Danish energy group, today announced that, following its statement of 12 September 2003, contracts have been awarded for the construction of Barrow Offshore Wind (BOW), a 90MW development in the East Irish Sea which will produce enough power for up to 80,000 homes.

A consortium comprising Kellogg Brown & Root Ltd and Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology Ltd has been awarded a fixed price Engineering, Procurement, Installation and Commissioning contract for construction of the windfarm and, upon completion, will operate and maintain the windfarm, for an initial period of five years, on a fixed price basis. Completion and commencement of commercial generation is expected in late 2005.

Centrica and DONG, who previously owned 25 and 37.5 per cent of BOW respectively, have increased their equity to form a 50/50 joint venture, by acquiring Statkraft’s shares in the development company. Centrica has paid Statkraft around £2m for its equity stake but Statkraft retains an option to buy back its shares in BOW until 2 September, 2004.

Jake Ulrich, Managing Director of Centrica Energy, said: "The award of this major construction contract is an important milestone in the development of the Barrow Offshore Windfarm.

"This is a key project within Centrica’s portfolio and construction will be a major step forward in delivering our renewables strategy, which enables us to offer our British Gas customers green energy."