6 Alpha Associates Celebrates 10 Years in Offshore Energy Industry
6 Alpha Associates, the strategic advisor for managing high risk offshore energy initiatives, this year marks its 10th year in business having successfully and safely completed a multitude of complex energy and construction development briefs.
Since the firm’s inception in 2004, 6 Alpha Associates has implemented and introduced its unique unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk certification framework on more than 40 separate offshore wind and cabling projects across Europe. In doing so, 6 Alpha has played a significant role in shaping best practice for the management of UXO risk throughout the international civil engineering and construction industry.
As such, the strategic risk advisor boasts unsurpassed expertise and sets an unmatched standard for the management of high-risk projects in construction and civil engineering in general, and for offshore wind developments in particular.
The threat of unexploded ordnance in the offshore wind environment is already well documented, although all too often underestimated. Indeed, best estimates suggest that thousands of tonnes of UXO – ranging from WWII-era mines and munitions to ordnance dumps and more recent military training areas – have generated a significant risk legacy in UK, US and European waters. As the US looks at offshore renewables, 6 Alpha is aiming to deploy its skills in that market.
A significant disturbance to the seabed of the sort generated by foundation and cable installations is often enough to trigger the detonation of partially buried ordnance – an event which, at the very least, can cause costly damage to equipment and construction delays, and, in the worst-case scenario, lead to worker injury and fatalities.
Central to 6 Alpha’s offering over the past ten years has been an in depth understanding and focused application of the “ALARP” principle to UXO risk management. By designing solutions that reduce risks to “As Low As Reasonably Practicable”, the consultancy offers developers a focused risk management strategy that is both comprehensive and cost-effective.
“Project developers are all too often unaware of the huge threat posed by unexploded ordnance on their sites,” said Simon Cooke, Managing Director at 6 Alpha Associates.
“A decade of operations in the offshore space has taught us that one of the greatest challenges lies in educating decision makers – not only about the risk posed by submerged munitions to their projects and technicians, but also that the cost of safely managing marine UXO risk need not run into the millions.”
To date 6 Alpha has provided specialist risk consultancy services for 75% of the UK’s Round 3 offshore wind projects, with recent experience including the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm.
Building upon their UK offshore success over the last 10 years, the business has also gained significant traction in the European offshore market, delivering services on four (of a total of five) French offshore renewable energy projects to date as well as working on a number of offshore wind projects in Holland and Germany.
TenneT, the Dutch-German High Voltage Grid Provider that has significant supply responsibilities in Germany and neighbouring countries, is impressed with 6 Alpha’s approach and has already commissioned the business to deliver specialist UXO risk management solution for eight of their projects to date.
A spokesperson for TenneT added: “With 6 Alpha on our side we have found a highly professional partner whose expert advice has proven times over again to be based on expertise and experience. The company’s willingness to assume responsibility in a field that is commonly lacking clear standards underlines 6 Alpha’s competence and is of greatest value to us.”
Press release, January 8, 2014; Image: 6 Alpha Associates