New Project to Significantly Cut Offshore Transmission Costs

As announced yesterday, Ofgem has awarded GBP 46.4 million for eight energy-related projects. Among them, a company running transmission assets of the Ormonde offshore wind farm proposes to develop an offshore cable repair vessel and universal cable jointing system in a way that would significantly reduce costs.

TC Ormonde OFTO Limited plans to convert an existing telecom-cable repair vessel  so that it can also repair OFTO power cables, which are much larger and heavier than telecom cables and usually require non-coiling storage. This cable vessel would immediately become available to all transmission owners through the Atlantic Cable Maintenance Agreement (ACMA).

This would mean access to a vessel that is permanently on standby to undertake repairs at a price that is a small fraction of current offshore cable repair prices.

Furthermore, the company aims to manufacture and test a new universal cable jointing system which will allow dissimilar sections of OFTO-type subsea cable to be jointed together.

In addition, the project includes training and qualifying jointers to repair cables on board the new repair vessel using the new jointing system.

It is envisaged that the project will start by Q2 2015 and will be completed by Q2 2018 at the latest.

Global Marine Systems Ltd (GMSL) will act as prime contractor for the vessel modification, joint development work and jointer provision.

Source: Ofgem; Image: OWEC Tower AS (Ormonde offshore wind farm)