European suppliers are main winners at London Array

The £1.8bn major supply and installation contracts for the London Array wind farm have been signed - but less than 10% went to UK companies.

Hartlepool's JDR Cable Systems will supply 209km of cables and Manchester's Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd will supply and install the electrical systems but the rest of the contracts predominantly went to European suppliers.

The largest contract appointed by DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar was Siemens Wind Power, which will supply 175 turbines. Others included Future Energy, Nexans Norway AS, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and Global Marine Systems Limited.

Dr Frank Mastiaux, chief executive officer of E.ON Climate & Renewables, said: “Signing these contracts is a significant milestone for the London Array project, which will be a vital scheme as we look to take renewables from being a niche power player to being a significant, vital part of the UK's energy landscape.”

Construction of the world's largest offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2011. It should supply enough power for around 750,000 houses - equivalent to a quarter of Greater London homes - and displace the emission of 1.9m tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.