The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
23rd July 2018
Northumberland, UK-based subsea specialist Royal IHC’s new Hi-Traq trencher system has the potential to revolutionise the offshore renewable energy industry, according to the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the UK’s leading innovation centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.
Royal IHC is the latest in the Backing the Gamer Changers series of case studies showcasing pioneering British companies developing solutions that will support growth in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors – and bolster the UK supply chain.
Royal IHC has designed Hi-Traq, the first remotely operated subsea trencher designed specifically for offshore wind farms. Hi-Traq has the potential to reduce cable-laying downtime by 50% compared to current technology, shaving millions off development costs.
In 2017, Royal IHC successfully tested the equipment at ORE Catapult’s test and demonstration facility in Blyth.
Ralph Manchester, technical manager at Royal IHC, said: “This is the first machine of its type and we are now very close to commercialisation. We now hope to scale up, creating jobs both here in Northumberland and in the UK supply chain.”
In developing Hi-Traq, Royal IHC has focused on the local supply chain, working with five SMEs.
James Battensby, project manager at ORE Catapult, said: “Royal IHC was part of an EU-funded technology accelerator programme run by ORE Catapult to support companies developing products that will reduce costs in the offshore wind sector and create economic growth.”