The first marine work on the U,K.’s Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm was to begin when contractor Visser & Smith Marine Contracting utilizes a horizontal directional drilling technique to install ducts at Weybourne in preparation for the “pull-in” of the wind farm’s two export cables.
The 22-km export cables will carry the power generated by the wind farm to landfall, where they will be connected to the onshore cable, now being installed by Carillion plc.
The horizontal drilling will go under the beach and have a duct length of approximately 320 m, with the last section extending out to sea which means the beach will remain undisturbed throughout the cable installation.
Onshore, a drilling rig and associated equipment will be set up on the planned joining pit area behind the beach while offshore, a multi purpose vessel (MPV) will be moored to carry out the marine works. A team of divers will be used for the various underwater activities.
The MPV will be around 42 m in length and, for positioning during activity at the drilling exit point, will be moored with up to four anchors marked with yellow buoys. The vessel will be equipped with international navigational standard communication and lighting equipment to ensure a safe operation.
Fishermen have been advised of the operation, and a ”no go” exclusion zone has been marked with buoys around the working area.
The work should be completed by mid-December, depending on weather conditions.
The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. Statoil is the operator for the project during the development phase. Scira will be the operator of the wind farm.