Photo: SeaRex trenching vehicle (Courtesy of SMD)

SMD conducts SeaRex upgrade for Prysmian

Subsea robotics design and manufacturing specialist Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) has delivered a multi-million-pound upgrade to the SeaRex trenching vehicle for the Italian cabling giant Prysmian.

Photo of SeaRex trenching vehicle (Courtesy of SMD)
SeaRex trenching vehicle (Courtesy of SMD)

SMD delivered two new cassettes for the upgraded BT2100 SeaRex tracked vehicle, including a wheel cutter and a chain cutter, enabling the trenching of power and telecommunication cables in both shallow and deep water.

The BT2100 SeaRex vehicle was first commissioned by NSW (now part of Prysmian Group) from SMD in 2012.

The new chain cutter cassette, capable of cutting a trench 700mm wide and 2.5m deep, was delivered in August 2020 and has already been deployed on an interconnector power cable between the Greek island of Crete and mainland Greece.

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The wheel cutter is capable of cutting a trench 450mm wide and 1.5m deep. Both cassettes will handle and trench power cables up to 350mm diameter with a unique loading mechanism that minimises the lifting height and therefore contact stresses on the power cable, according to SMD.

This design has been developed in partnership with Prysmian to handle both light and heavy weight cables for high voltage power transmission.

Commenting on the project, Robert Eddon, Key Account Manager from SMD, said: “Over the years we have designed and manufactured ploughs, trenching ROVs, LARS and a range of multi-functional tools and attachments for Prysmian.

“It’s a pleasure to be working with the team at Prysmian and to continue to support their assets. The positive feedback received on SeaRex’s first campaign, both out-performing its cutting predictions and consistency in depth of burial, has been a credit to our design and build quality and the operational skill of the Prysmian team”.