A new track base unit, fitted to its FCV ROV, has been introduced to ensure highly accurate cable positioning during cable lay operations in strong currents. 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 be detached easily if required.
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 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 kilometres) at the cable manufacturer’s facility in Hartlepool.
Having joined the project in early September another of Fugro’s specialist vessels, 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.
Mike Daniel, business manager for construction at Fugro Subsea Services said, “This innovative track base unit development will help to reduce vessel downtime while also providing accurate positioning. 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 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge. The 400MW project is due to be completed in 2018.