Balmoral launches new scour protection system for jacket foundations

Following the launch of its HexDefence scour protection solution for monopile foundations earlier this year, Balmoral has now launched a HexDefence system specifically designed for offshore wind jacket foundations.

Balmoral HexDefence jacket system; Image courtesy of Balmoral

At the beginning of this year, the Scottish engineering company introduced HexDefence for monopile structures, which integrates seabed protection and flow reduction to minimise operational costs and prevent cable failure. Balmoral said the solution could potentially cut costs by up to 70 per cent when compared to the conventional method of rock dumping.

“One of the key advantages of the HexDefence system is its potential to revive abandoned projects and locations deemed unviable due to the sheer amount and size of rock required for scour protection. The latest analysis indicates that this innovative solution could render expensive and carbon-intensive practices obsolete, making previously financially unfeasible projects viable again,” the company states in a press release announcing the new HexDefence jacket system.

Balmoral says that its latest HexDefence design builds upon the success of the development work on the solution for monopile structures, for which it received positive feedback from leading wind farm developers and industry bodies.

The HexDefence jacket system also aims to eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for traditional and resource-intensive scour protection methods such as rock dumping. The solution also brings additional benefits of being installed at the quayside, eliminating the requirement for additional installation vessels and ensuring the scour protection is active from the point of foundation installation, Balmoral says.

“The jacket version of HexDefence represents a significant step forward for scour protection, offering highly cost-effective performance enhancement across installation, management, and maintenance. This proprietary system eliminates the requirement to dump rock, providing a non-invasive approach to protecting the jacket foundation and the immediate surrounding area,” said Dr. Aneel Gill, Product R&D Manager at Balmoral.

The company also plans to tie in the production of its HexDefence systems with boosting local content in offshore wind projects.

“As part of our commitment to the local communities in which we work, HexDefence will be produced close to development sites. This strategic choice not only increases local content but also contributes to the overall sustainability of offshore wind projects by reducing environmental impact,” said Managing Director of Balmoral, Bill Main.