The consortium developing the London Array has announced that contracts have been awarded to MPI and A2SEA to supply marine crew and vessels for the installation of foundations and turbines for the first phase (630MW) of what potentially will be the world’s first 1GW offshore wind farm.

MPI, through a fully wholly owned subsidiary, will supply London Array with the MPI Adventure, a vessel currently being built in China. The ship will be capable of transporting, lifting and installing more wind turbines and their foundations than current boats. The vessel is expected to start operations in April 2011.

In addition, A2SEA will supply the Sea Worker, a jack-up barge that is expected to be on site from March 2011.

Richard Rigg, project director for London Array, said: ’These are the final major-construction contracts to be signed for London Array, which has now moved as a project from the development phase into full construction.’

The London Array will be built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases.

Phase One, planned to be complete in 2012, will cover 90km2 and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.

The London Array is being developed by a consortium of three companies - Dong Energy, which owns 50 per cent of the venture, E.ON, which owns 30 per cent, and Masdar, which has a 20 per cent stake.