Windar trains its future Fene workforce in Asturias

The investment of Navantia’s partner in offshore wind energy in the former Imenosa and Astano is already around 5.5 million euros.

Windar renovables, Navantia’s partner in the offshore wind contracts being executed at the facilities in the Ferrol estuary, is taking the first steps towards the start of the work for Statoil’s Hywind wind farm, which will be the first floating wind farm in the world. It is foreseen that in the former Astano, where the five components where the wind turbines will be anchored in Scottish waters will be manufactured, the tasks will begin next February, but in the Asturian facilities of the Daniel Alonso Group company, workers are already being trained to carry out the work.

They are a group of 17 people who, after receiving theoretical classes in the region, are being trained in submerged arc welding, the technology that will be used in this work. The company has organised these courses after finding a shortage of personnel specifically trained in this type of welding, and after carrying out the selection process, is carrying out the training at its facilities in the neighbouring community, where it has specific machinery. Those who pass the selection process will be hired and will start working in Asturias until the work starts in Fene, specifically in the flat block workshop.

However, at the end of this month, another group of professionals who already have this training will join the workforce in the estuary. In total, Windar renovables will employ around 150 people on the Hywind contract, estimates Roberto Presa, director of the company’s offshore branch, although this figure also includes the jobs of the auxiliary companies that will subcontract for the order.

The training of personnel covers all areas since, as Mariola Villarón, head of human resources for the Asturian group, explained, in addition to the operators, the person responsible for occupational hazards who will be in charge of these competencies on the order is also at the company in Gijón these days. “In each work centre we open, we have the same personnel structure and a common policy”, she assures. In fact, the shipyards in the estuary, where they already have a presence, specifically in the facilities of the former Imenosa, is where Windar is currently focusing its greatest growth in personnel.

At present, the execution of the first contract that Navantia and Windar won in alliance in the offshore wind power segment – the Wikinger contract for Iberdrola – is involving some 270 people, according to the company, including subcontractors. In total, more than 400 people in these two projects alone – to which must be added the jobs in the part taken on by Navantia – although expectations of obtaining new orders are high.

To carry out the offshore wind contracts at the Fene facilities, the Daniel Alonso group company – made up of six companies – is investing around 5.5 million euros in machinery. Its top managers insist time and again that the company arrives in the region of Ferrol with the clear vocation of permanence.