Capitalizing on its experience and leadership in offshore oil and gas marine services, BOURBON continues to extend its range of services and strengthen its positions in the offshore wind industry. BOURBON has just installed an innovative offshore wind structure in the Atlantic.
In perfect conditions off the coast of Portugal at Aguçadoura, BOURBON has installed a semi-submersible wind turbine with a WindFloat foundation, a project led by the Portuguese utility EDP and designed by the US technology developer Principle Power. This innovative technology enables the wind turbine to be assembled onshore with standard turbines, and then towed and anchored at a sufficient distance so as not to be visible from the coast.
For the successful installation of its wind structure, Principle Power relied on the maritime expertise of BOURBON’s seafarer and engineering teams. “ The high level of BOURBON employees’ expertise allowed for the successful deployment of each step of the project : engineering and management, mooring system installation and pre-tensioning, WindFloat towing and on-site mooring, subsea installation and power connection,” explains Eric Verrière, Managing Director of Bourbon Offshore Surf, BOURBON's French subsidiary.
These operations were performed by Bourbon Liberty 228, an Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessel (AHTS) from the BOURBON fleet. They demonstrate BOURBON’s fleet adaptability and confirm the Group’s capacity to meet specific client needs.
“As of June 2010, BOURBON has been operating in offshore wind with the Bourbon Enterprise” says Patrick Belenfant, Senior Vice-President Business Management, Bourbon Subsea Services. “This IMR vessel (dedicated to Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of subsea infrastructures) first intervened on the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm, one of the biggest offshore installation projects off the South-East coast of England, before joining the BARD Offshore 1 field off Germany and ensuring operations until October 2011.”
The success of the Principle Power project demonstrates BOURBON’s capacity to offer a comprehensive range of services to the offshore wind industry at every stage of the operations:
in the exploration stage, through the BOURBON fleet of subsea exploration robots (light survey ROVs);
during the construction stage, using various vessels from the full range of BOURBON’s fleet: IMR vessels for laying, connecting and burying cables on the seabed; AHTS, for towing the turbine; and crewboats for the transport of personnel;
in the maintenance stage, with IMR vessels; the accommodation capacity on these vessels also enables them to operate as a “flotel” for the region.
At the same time, BOURBON’s vessels are able to carry out support and anti-pollution missions for other vessels in the region.
Diversification into offshore wind is part of the Group’s expansion policy under the “BOURBON 2015 Leadership Strategy” plan.
According to Christian Lefèvre, Chief Executive Officer of BOURBON, “BOURBON has been actively involved in work on several wind farms since 2010, and a number of other projects are due to be rolled out over the next 5 years. BOURBON’s fleet is ideally suited to providing solutions for the installation and operation of wind farms. Wind is a promising complementary activity for our offshore oil and gas marine service offering.”