500 tonne jacket barges down the Cart

A 23 m tall, 500 tonne wind turbine jacket passed beneath the drawbridge style Bascule Bridge. The 60 m barge carrying the component had to temporarily stop before the bridge so that it could be accurately lined up before passing under it.

Renfrewshire Council’s vision in restoring Inchinnan’s Bascule Bridge paid dividends today (Saturday 31 August) when it rose up its full 30m height to allow a 500 tonne, wind turbine jacket out into the open sea at the start of its voyage to Methil in Fife.

The 23 metre tall jacket forms the foundation for what will be the world’s largest wind turbine, which in turn forms the heart of Samsung Heavy Industries’ Wind Turbine Demonstrator. The jacket is being transported down the cart on a 60 metre long barge.

The wind turbine jacket was built by Renfrew based, Steel Engineering Ltd. Peter Breslin, Director of Steel Engineering Ltd, said, “We operate in a highly competitive market and we have worked extremely hard to secure the ground breaking contract to manufacture this prototype.

“It is a huge honour that a global giant like Samsung recognises our talent and has faith in our ability to manufacture and deliver. But that ability to deliver depends on the Cart and the ability of the Bascule Bridge to open. Without the Cart and the bridge we would have no way of moving components of this scale.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board said, “Creating and maintain jobs is a key goal for Renfrewshire Council. We are the Harbour Authority for the Cart and we actively support the use of the river for transporting heavy goods. The strengthening and refurbishment of the historic Bascule Bridge in 2005 has ensured that the Cart is available as a working economic asset.

“Steel Engineering Ltd is at the forefront of the expanding renewable sector. It is very gratifying that our role in maintaining the vital infrastructure that Steel Engineering Ltd relies on is allowing the company to deliver the goods to global firms such as Samsung.”

Steel Engineering Ltd is one of more than 300 companies signed up to Invest, Renfrewshire Council’s £8m programme to boost the local economy.

The Bascule Bridge is a listed building and was built in 1923. It is just one of 17 drawbridge style structures left in Britain and shares its counter-weight operation with Tower Bridge in London.

Renfrewshire Council invested some £1.4million in rebuilding the bridge as part its commitment to keeping the River Cart open to commercial traffic. In a quirk of fate Steel Engineering Ltd carried out much of the refurbishment work on the Bascule Bridge.

All photographs taken for by Alex Kyle. You can find more photos from Alex by clicking here.


Recruits show their Steel in engineering trip

Sparks were flying for Renfrewshire’s latest batch of Recruits when they paid a week-long visit to a local engineering firm.

The teenagers on the popular youth employability scheme were given a welding masterclass by staff at Steel Engineering in Renfrew.

The Recruit is a council-run programme loosely based on TV favourite The Apprentice, where young people take part in a series of challenges, with jobs on offer for the winners.

Currently, there are two editions of the scheme, set to run until March – one for school leavers aged 16 to 17 and one for unemployed young people aged 18 to 24.

The younger set of Recruits were given a tour of Steel’s site at Westway Park, and were trained in how to operate some of the equipment in the workshop.

And some of the youngsters put their new-found skills to good use, welding together some scrap metal to make a creation they called Robbie the Recruit Robot!

Two of the youngsters – Connor Barr, 17, and Skye Donnelly, 16, both of Paisley – were judged as the best-performing Recruits over the week.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, added: “Tackling youth employment is one of the council’s top priorities.

“This is why we have included an extra £4.5million to support jobs and the economy in the most recent council budget.

“The Recruit is a key part of our strategy to help equip young people for work and has gone from strength to strength over the few years it has been in operation.

“As always, we are grateful to local companies such as Steel Engineering, who give up their time to give the Recruits an insight into their work.”

Peter Breslin, managing director of Steel Engineering, said: “We were delighted to sign up for The Recruit.

“The engineering and renewable energy sectors offer wonderful career opportunities and The Recruit gives young people the change to experience real work environments and see what is involved.

“As an Investor in People company, we are extremely passionate about supporting youth employment initiatives and firmly believe in giving young people every opportunity to flourish within our expanding business.

“We are committed to providing top-quality training through our renewable energy training academy, TRESTA, and also employ 34 modern apprentices from our base at Westway Park.”

Steel Engineering is one of Scotland’s leading engineering companies, with a long-established base in Renfrewshire.

The company has developed a solid reputation within the expanding renewable-energy sector with a range of major contracts.