The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
UK- and Netherlands-based subsea provider N-Sea has secured a contract which is estimated to be in excess of six million euros (£5.3 million) with National Grid, UK, and Energinet, Denmark, to deliver an unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance campaign for the Viking Link project.
The contract is part of a high profile project for the installation of a subsea power cable between the UK and Denmark. The project consists of a proposed 473-mile (761-kilometre) long electricity interconnector between Bicker Fen near Boston, England, and the substation Revsing in southern Jutland, Denmark.
Mobilising the Noordhoek Pathfinder and MagSense (N-Sea’s UXO detection system developed in conjunction with Denmark-based EIVA), the initial phase will see N-Sea conduct a seismic sonar, multibeam and gradiometer survey along the Viking Link route. The second phase will involve the identification and onsite detonation of any UXOs found in the area.
N-Sea chief commercial officer Gary Thirkettle said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and be involved in the Viking Link project. This is testament to our significant track record for UXO campaigns and proven experience in the investigation and mapping of potential targets.
“This is an exciting project to work on, particularly with the use of our MagSense frame, which collects highly accurate data while enhancing the efficiency and safety of the detection process. This is the latest in a diverse range of projects N-Sea has been involved in across the energy sector, and we are proud to be playing our part.”
Project manager at Energinet, Rasmus Juncher, said: “On behalf of the entire Viking Link project team, we are very happy to see the UXO survey campaign commence. After several years of planning, from the UXO desk study through to the tender phase, we are now entering the execution phase. I look forward to working with N-Sea throughout the survey and UXO inspection campaign and building a successful relationship.”
Forum Energy Technologies, USA, has delivered a remotely operated vehicle to the University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, to support its research into subsea inspection and intervention campaigns on renewable energy sector infrastructure.
Designed and manufactured in-house at Forum’s Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire, UK, facility, the Comanche 2000-metre work-class vehicle was officially launched at the docks in Limerick City by Irish Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.
“The Comanche ROV was selected due to its high thrust-to-drag ratio enabling it to operate in strong currents, typical conditions for the offshore renewables industry,” said Forum. “The ROV is equipped to a high specification with precision positioning and navigation systems, camera and lighting systems and sonars. The systems will be used as a test bed for research to develop capabilities for inspection, maintenance and repair work on marine renewable energy (MRE) infrastructure in the challenging strong wave and current conditions at MRE test sites and offshore MRE sites in Ireland and further afield.”
Researchers at UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems (CRIS) further enhanced the system with UL-developed advanced control software (OceanRings), precision navigation and flight control, state-of-the-art robotic imaging and sonar systems and fully automated manipulator systems.
The vehicle will be housed at Limerick Docks where experimentation, testing and demonstration will be carried out. It will also be mobilised on vessels at other ports in Ireland.
University of Limerick president, Dr Des Fitzgerald, said: “The advanced robotics technology developed at UL will be crucial in supporting the burgeoning marine renewable energy sector. It will also play a significant role in reducing the cost of installing and maintaining large-scale offshore energy generation infrastructure. As the worldwide marine renewable energy sector grows, UL’s research contribution in this area will have even greater impact.”
France-headquartered Nexans has reached two key milestones in its contract to create the high-voltage power export connection for Scotland’s Beatrice 588-megawatt offshore wind farm.
The first of the two 400kV onshore cable links and the high-voltage accessories have been installed successfully and tested on site. At the same time, the Nexans factory in Norway has completed the manufacturing of the 220kV offshore cable and loaded the final section onto the Group’s Skagerrak cable laying vessel for the journey across the North Sea to the Moray Firth, where it will be installed and later trenched into the seabed by Nexans’ unique Capjet system.
The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm project, scheduled to be fully operational by 2019, is a joint venture between SSE, UK, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Denmark, and Red Rock Power Ltd – the UK subsidiary of China’s SDIC Power Holding Co. Located in the Moray Firth, it will be Scotland’s largest wind farm, with the combined output of 84 turbines capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 450,000 homes.
To export the energy from the wind farm to the grid, the two offshore cables take a route of 70 kilometres along the seabed to a landfall point to the west of Portgordon on the Moray coast. A transition joint bay then connects them to the onshore cable system, which takes a 20-kilometre route to Blackhillock substation. From there, the 400kV onshore cables will transmit the electricity to the grid.
Nexans was awarded the turnkey contract to design, manufacture, test, deliver and install both circuits of the complete power transmission cable system. This included the delivery of a total of 265 kilometres of cables, including 145 kilometres of 220kV offshore cables, 115 kilometres of 220kV and five kilometres of 400kV onshore cables and the associated high-voltage accessories.
Nexans completed the laying and burial of the first offshore cable route in 2017 and connected it to the offshore platform in February 2018. In March 2018, Nexans installed the 400kV onshore circuits and their outdoor sealing ends using its expertise of carrying out the termination works horizontally prior to connecting them vertically at Blackhillock substation.
“The Beatrice project perfectly illustrates our capacity to deliver turnkey grid connection solutions for offshore windfarms,” said Vincent Dessale, senior executive vice president for the Subsea and Land Systems business group at Nexans. “For many years Nexans has been committed to facilitating the energy transition in Europe and worldwide, and we are proud to contribute to building Scotland’s largest wind farm.”
UK-based SMD reports the delivery of two 1000-metre Atom Mk1 work-class ROV systems to UK-based JFD.
“The Atom systems, equipped with ultra-compact launch and recovery systems and SMD purpose-designed control and workshop cabins, provide a complete turnkey solution which is essential for JFD in providing its customer, the Indian Navy, with reliable equipment for on time critical missions,” said a spokesman.
Optimised for submarine rescue operations, each Atom system carries three emergency life support pods for delivery to a submarine forming the intervention element of the JFD’s Third Generation Submarine Rescue System.
Ben Sharples, India project director at JFD, said: “At JFD, we believe in the power of improvement and the importance of collaboration and we have been pleased to work together with SMD on developing these new technologies. SMD’s Atom ROV systems play an important part in our new Third Generation Submarine Rescue Systems, and in advancing our ultimate aims of driving down ‘time to first intervention’, protecting life at sea, and improving the standards of safety for submariners around the world.”