Bombs found at UK's Gwynt y Mor

An exclusion zone is in force at part of the Gwynt y Mor offshore wind site in northwest England after developer RWE Innogy UK found unexploded bombs.

Three bombs believed to date from World War 2 have been found at the site in Liverpool Bay, where the German-owned utility is well advanced with turbine installation for the 576MW wind farm.

Construction activity is continuing outside the 250-metre protected zone and RWE Innogy UK said it does not expect the discovery to affect the overall project schedule.

A company spokesman said : “RWE is already working with a number of contractors and consultants to identify the safest method of removal, and applications have already been submitted for the appropriate licences.

“It is not uncommon for unexploded ordnance to be found on the seabed and standard procedures are in place to deal with potential 'UXO targets', as they are often referred to.”

The explosives should be cleared in the next few weeks.

The bombs were discovered by a robot vessel carrying out seabed survey work for the wind farm’s cabling.

The situation mirrors that faced by several German offshore wind projects, where the presence of bombs and other munitions has proved a serious and costly obstacle.

Gwynt y Môr will be the world’s second-largest offshore wind farm after its completion later this year. It is using 160 Siemens 3.6MW turbines.