French subsea cable repair vessels to sport DLM de-trenching grapnels

UK-based Dynamic Load Monitoring (DLM) has received an order from an undisclosed customer for two wheel de-trenching grapnels set to be deployed from subsea cable repair vessels in France.

Source: Dynamic Load Monitoring

DLM designed a custom-built version suitable to penetrate 1.8 meters into the seabed, significantly more than the previous designs which were suitable for 1.1 meters.

The products will be delivered to the company’s long-standing customer in May.

The end user operates a fleet of cable repair vessels, but the solution will be of interest to anyone that completes repair work on laid cables, the UK company said.

“We will never sell lots of these products, as there is a limited number of cable laying ships in the world capable of handling them, but the fact that we have upgraded the design for the 1.5m and 1.8m penetration shows that we have one of the best offerings on the market and this will appeal to any cable ship owner in need of this type of equipment,” said Chris Scrutton, technical manager at DLM.

“This end customer has had three ships newly built, which serves as a barometer of the buoyancy in this marketplace, driven by the constant increase in offshore wind energy.”

A wheel de-trenching grapnel is used to de-trench cables buried at depths of greater than 0.5 meters. It can be used in harsher seabed environments, such as rocky conditions, but also in soft and crumbly (friable) seabeds, where the addition of the wheels helps to maintain penetration.

According to DLM, the grapnel can be used for plough assessment surveys to assess what is called “plough-ability” of the seabed, providing important information prior to laying a new subsea cable. In other words, this deciphers how tough the seabed conditions are and what equipment will be required to lay a new subsea cable.

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