An innovative development by Fugro for its work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) has been successfully used in cable-lay touchdown monitoring operations at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.
A new track base unit, fitted to its FCV ROV, was introduced to ensure highly accurate cable positioning during the cable-lay operations. The unit ensures the continuation of operations in strong currents by enabling the ROV to run along the seabed instead of flying through the water. It is fitted to the existing ROV frame, but can easily be detached if necessary.
The unit was developed following another project for E.ON at the Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm in 2015, where Fugro introduced a compact custom-made cable lay spread that included a new 3D sonar technology to supplement ROV support and provide precise monitoring of cable touchdown (the point at which the cable meets the seabed).
During this project in the North Sea Fugro experienced currents as high as 3.5 knots. In August, Fugro commenced cable-laying operations at the Rampion site off the UK’s Sussex coast, from its subsea construction vessel, the Fugro Symphony. At the beginning of the month, the vessel had loaded the first phase of 57 cables (approximately 75 kilometers) at the cable manufacturer’s facility in Hartlepool.
Fugro’s specialist vessel, Fugro Saltire, is currently conducting cable burial using one of Fugro’s Q1400 trenching systems. The project installation is divided into two phases with the first phase due for completion in October this year. After a winter break, the two vessels will resume installation of the remaining 65 cables in spring 2017 and completion is expected by summer 2017
“This innovative track base unit development will help to reduce vessel downtime while also providing accurate positioning,” said Mike Daniel, Business Manager for construction at Fugro Subsea Services. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this development as part of our integrated cable laying and trenching service for offshore wind farm development.”
The Rampion Offshore Wind farm is being built 13 km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge. The 400-MW project is due to be completed in 2018.