Press release | 2014-12-02 | 17:33 PM

Underwater power cables put to bed

Norfolk firm wins offshore wind contract

A Norfolk firm specialising in the protection of seabed infrastructure has started supplying to a wind farm off the Kent coast.

Subsea Protection Systems (SPS) has started supplying 255 concrete mattresses to Vattenfall’s extension of the Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm, approximately 7 km off Whitstable and Herne Bay. The Great Yarmouth company, which employs 20 in the town, will transport approximately 1,250 tonnes of concrete mattresses to the site which will be used to protect cables used by Vattenfall’s Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm. This will allow the ‘overlaying’ of new cables from the extension when installed next year.

The offshore wind industry has grown significantly in the UK in the past ten years and a major supply chain is emerging. According to industry trade body RenewableUK approximately 13,000 jobs are currently supported by the offshore wind sector. If offshore wind delivers it potential this could grow three-fold to more than 40,000 people by 2023.

Matthew Green, Vattenfall’s Project Director for Kentish Flats Extension, said: “Vattenfall is committed to maximising contracting where it can with local and UK business and we’re pleased that Subsea Protection Systems has started supplying concrete mattresses to Kentish Flats Extension.”  

Subsea Protection Systems is being subcontracted by Bohlen & Doyen (BoDo), the main contractor responsible for laying 30km of cable between the 15 turbines and from the scheme to shore. SPS has already supplied to several other wind farms in the North Sea.

John Gorman Business Development Manager for SPS said: “SPS have made a substantial investment in Great Yarmouth to support the UK’s offshore wind sector. It has been a pleasure working with Vattenfall and the Bohlen & Doyen team in designing the correct specification of mattresses to ensure the protection of the cables at Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm.”

Rene Fischer, Project Manager for BoDo, said: “We are delighted to be working with Subsea Protection Systems.  SPS have a great track record in this field of expertise and their flexible and adaptable approach to work has been of real benefit on this project. Not only is it good to work with a UK company but it is useful that they are conveniently situated near to a port making transportation of goods that much easier.

”In the spring Vattenfall will install foundations seven kilometres offshore and these will be followed by the delivery and erection of the 139.6 metre high wind turbines.  All 15 turbines are scheduled to be deployed by August 2015.  Kentish Flats Extension hopes to generate first power in early September with all turbines operating by December 2015. Kentish Flats Extension will be capable of generating enough power in a year to meet the equivalent annual electricity demand of 35,000 households.