Subsea service specialist, Offshore Marine Management (OMM) has secured the former AEI Cables site in Kent from landowners, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) for the establishment of a new cable storage, cable plant and key component spares that will act as an industry operational base.
Located on the Northfleet Embankment, the fleetway building and adjoining open land will be available for occupation from the end of next month.
OMM has secured around 1ha of building storage and 1ha of outside land storage, which will be utilised for export cables and large components.
This area can be extended and easily converted to suit OMM's requirements.
Using its in-house experts, the company has worked with SEEDA for six months to secure the facility that was home to the UK cable manufacturer, AEI Cables. OMM Managing Director Rob Grimmond said both OMM and SEEDA were keen to re-establish the facility to its former usage.
"The opportunity for the land came up just as we were looking to procure a site to expand our cable services to clients," he said.
Currently cables are stored throughout the UK and Europe on installation reels that are not fit for the purpose of long-term storage. This facility will enable offshore wind farm developers to correctly store their infield and export cables, improving their condition and lifespan. They will be stored in large tanks and serviced annually to ensure they are ready to go when needed for cable repair or replacement.
"This site is perfectly located for the wind farm activity that is underway and planned for the east coast of England and west cost of continental Europe. It was designed to manufacture and then transport cables 24/7 in its heyday. In developing strategic services to our clients, we don't want to re-invent the wheel, so securing this former cable facility is ideal," he said.
"We are excited about turning the site into a purposeful facility which will offer our clients an extension to the services we currently provide to the offshore wind industry."