Written by Liz Burdock, CEO & President
Business Network for Offshore Wind
In our role as an advisor to the offshore wind energy industry, we have had a chance to work with regulators and industry experts to help develop the national standards and rules that developers and suppliers will use to guide them as they build and assemble huge wind turbines and supporting systems 10 or more miles offshore in the oceans off of both coasts.
We have noticed that two of the most overlooked and misunderstood issues in this area are the twin protections of safety and insurance.
These topics are far from glamorous, perhaps, but when companies are managing multi-million dollar construction projects six hundred feet high in one hundred feet of water in the open ocean, there is a lot that can go wrong if proper procedures are not carefully followed.
Marine Warranty Services (MWS) ensure that all marine operations are carried out safely and within the boundaries of the various project warranties. The scope of responsibility extends from personnel safety to equipment operation and preventing damage to the structures being installed.
Although the name MWS sounds like simple product warranty maintenance, marine warranty surveyors from companies like DNV GL and others play a critical role in risk reduction for major offshore projects and marine operations. They are constantly on the lookout for product defects, user errors and safety violations so that they can be corrected before a worker is injured or a piece of equipment is damaged or destroyed.
Product failures, worker injuries and equipment damage are all incredibly disruptive and expensive when they occur on remote marine job sites, and massive projects on tight timelines can be seriously impacted by these incidents.
MWS can be applied to the construction, transportation and installation of a wide range of offshore wind components and systems:
- Steel jackets (a type of turbine foundation)
- Monopile foundations
- Gravity-based foundation
- Wind-turbine generators
- Concrete structures
- Mobile offshore units
- Floating production facilities
- Pipelines and subsea equipment
- HVDC electric power-converter platforms
- Electricity substations
- Subsea power cables
Surveyors are typically master mariners and specialist engineers with many years of training and technical experience in the field. Technically, they work for offshore wind operators, vessel owners and underwriters, but in truth they work for all of us to make sure that offshore wind projects get completed safely, on budget and on time.
MWS is just one of three safety topics that will be covered in educational workshops during the upcoming International Partnering Forum (IPF) held on April 8 to 10 in New York City. To learn more about the IPF and to register, click here.