SEAWAY Heavy Lifting’s crane vessel the Stanislav Yudin ties up at the Port of Cromarty Firth, marking the start of the £2.6 billion Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Project (BOWL), one of the biggest private investments in Scottish infrastructure.

The Cyprus-registered vessel is equipped with a 2,500-tonne revolving crane, a 500-tonne auxiliary hook and a 30-tonne trolley hoist. It also has a bespoke pile Installation frame, a suite of hydraulic impact hammers and can accommodate up to 151 people. In the first phase of the operation the ship will install the piles for the wind turbine jacket substructures.

Construction of the new £10m operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will start this year. Offshore construction will start next year, with the wind farm expected to become fully operational in 2019.

SSE is the main project partner with a 40 per cent stake, along with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35) and SDIC Power (25).