Subocean underlines offshore renewable energy credentials with another multi-million pound offshore windfarm contract
Subocean Limited, has been awarded a £27 million contract to install two off 23.5km in length export power cables and 100 off infield array power cables under the seabed in variable soil conditions on the Thanet project, the first 100 Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) offshore wind-farm development in the World, located off the North East coast of Kent.
The Thanet Offshore Wind-farm Development will provide a maximum 300MW of electrical generation and this is sufficient to provide electricity for 240,000 homes, which shall account for a significant proportion of the energy needs for east Kent.
The WTG's will be interconnected by an offshore 33kV array cable network and connected to an offshore substation platform where the voltage is then stepped up to 132kV. Electricity will be transferred to shore via the two Export Cables, which will be routed to a landfall point in Pegwell Bay. All the power cables shall be buried to provide adequate protection from all forms of hostile seabed intervention.
The company had already started work on the Thanet project during the second quarter of 2008 by conducting offshore cable burial trials with a new cable plough. The trials in the Thanet worksite soil conditions were conducted to prove that the full burial specification could be achieved throughout the soils in the development.
The cable installation offshore work at the Thanet worksite will start in the second quarter of 2009 using a newly chartered and mobilised cable lay barge onto which Subocean will install a new 5500T Carousel for carrying the 132kV export power cables along with a new cable lay spread and an existing cable plough spread.
For some of the infield array cables Subocean will also use a chartered DP2 vessel along with a cable lay spread and a new cable plough spread.
Using both the barge and DP2 Vessel spreads, Subocean, will lay the cables and bury the cables 1.5m to 3.0m, below seabed level, in water depths of between 10 and 20 metres.
Subocean was chosen by Thanet Offshore Wind Limited to deliver this project because of its experienced and track record in offshore wind farm developments. The company has successfully transferred its expertise and experience in the subsea oil and gas sector to the young but burgeoning marine renewables market.
"This development will play a key role in generating green power in line with the Government's commitment to renewable power and to improving security of energy supply as the UK becomes more dependent on imported energy.
Subocean operations director, Mike Daniel, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the UK's first 100 WTG offshore wind farm. We have now a proven track record in marine renewables, especially offshore wind-farm developments and, in line with our business plan, are achieving a 50% growth in this sector.