Photo: Nautilus Floating Solutions

Subsea 7 buys into Spanish floating wind specialist

Subsea engineering, construction and services company Subsea 7 has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority interest in the equity of Nautilus Floating Solutions S.L. a developer of technology for the floating wind market based in Bilbao, Spain.

According to Subsea 7, Nautilus has developed a promising concept for a floating wind foundation based on a semi-submersible steel structure that supports a centrally-placed wind turbine.

Subsea 7 will provide technical expertise, and engineering and project management capabilities to support the advancement of this design and it is envisaged that the concept will be included in tenders for demonstrator or pilot projects in 2021 and beyond.

The Oslo-listed company will acquire a controlling interest of 59.12 per cent in Nautilus and will assume four of the seven positions on Nautilus’ Board of Directors.

Tecnalia, the Research and Technological Development Centre, and Vicinay, a designer, manufacturer, and supplier of mooring systems for the oil & gas and floating wind industries, will remain shareholders of Nautilus with equity interests of 29.14 per cent and 11.74 per cent, respectively.

Nautilus will remain an autonomous company with strong roots in the Basque Country of Spain, teaming with its network of regional, national and international partners, Subsea 7 said. It will benefit from the support of Subsea 7 in various upcoming bids with key clients in the floating wind industry.

While actively supporting the further development of the Nautilus concept, Subsea 7 plans to continue to engage with other technology providers to support client, regional or supply chain specificities.

Subsea 7 and Nautilus will collaborate closely with Seaway 7 ASA, the recently announced combination of Subsea 7’s fixed wind activities and OHT ASA(3) to ensure aligned client engagement and that the capabilities within the broader group are fully leveraged.

John Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Subsea 7, said: “The agreement with Nautilus represents an exciting opportunity for Subsea 7 to further our involvement in the technology being developed for the floating wind market. Involvement at an early stage allows the development of this concept to benefit from our technical know-how, experience in delivering EPCI projects, and to maximise the value creation opportunity for our clients and shareholders. Following the agreements with OHT ASA in offshore fixed wind, and with Simply Blue Energy in floating wind, this is another step in the realisation of the Group’s strategy to proactively participate in the Energy Transition.”

Nautilus semi-submersible platform

The Nautilus semi-submersible platform comprises four columns connected at keel plane by a square-shaped ring pontoon and by a X-shaped main deck at the top of the columns. The transition piece connecting the tower is embedded in the main deck’s central position. The wind turbine is located centred relative to the columns.

Subsea 7 Buys Into Spanish Floating Wind Specialist
Source: Nautilus Floating Solutions

According to Nautilus, the four columns will provide buoyancy and enough strength to support the turbine and sufficient water plane area restoring forces for the static and dynamic stability. The baseline Nautilus concept is moored by a conventional catenary mooring system of four legs.

The platform’s primary design goal is to maximize the energy production of large wind turbines while limiting expensive offshore integration and maintenance procedures, the developer said.