A setback for Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm

A barge, estimated to be worth £50 million, carrying giant cranes sank in the Atlantic.

As per the information available, the barge, KS Titan 1, was travelling from the US to Liverpool when it toppled into the sea and sank.

This may emerge as a setback for the Rhyl Flats windfarm as the cranes were due to install turbines at the windfarm.

However, npower Renewables, according to bbc.co.uk, indicated that the incident would have minimal impact and the windfarm was on course for completion by July 2009. The KS Titan 1 was being transported on board a "heavy-lift" vessel, the Ancora, which sailed from Pascagoula in the US but developed engine problems in the mid-Atlantic.

The KS Titan 1, which is owned by Singapore-based KS Energy Services, was a new three-legged "jack-up" barge equipped with two cranes capable of lifting 180 tonnes. A similar barge, the Lisa, is due to start work soon and was supposed to have been joined by KS Titan 1.

Npower renewables said that fewer turbines would now be erected this year.

A spokesperson said: "The Titan's loss means that fewer turbines than originally planned will be erected at the wind farm site this year. As originally programmed, offshore installation work will be suspended over the winter and will resume in April 2009. It is anticipated that the windfarm will be completed in July 2009 in line with the original construction timetable. Lisa, the second vessel undertaking turbine construction, is conducting sea trials on site and turbine erection will start shortly."

Once operational, the Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm is to produce electricity to meet the average needs of approximately 61,000 homes.