A HINT of what the massive North Sea oil & gas capability can do for offshore renewable energy safety will be to the fore at an IMCA session in Amsterdam.
International Marine Contractors Association CEO, Hugh Williams appears in no doubt about this, judging from the line-up.
In a session entitled: “Renewables – Marine Operations & Safety’ Frank van der Meer of Visser & Smit Marine Contracting; Alan MacLeay of Subsea 7, Chris Mott of Fugro and Ivor Mower of Global Marine Systems will each call on their oil & gas experience.
Van der Meer will cover the principles of cable installation on a wind farm, providing a brief overview of the process of connecting turbines via the substation to the shore; and will also look at accessibility in the field with an overview on crew changes, boat to boat transfer, tower access and emergency preparedness.
Aberdeen-based Macleay will explain that Subsea 7 undertook the first dynamically positioned saturation diving tasks on a prototype tidal energy device at EMEC (the European Marine Energy Centre) in Orkney in 2009. His presentation will explore some of the installation challenges and explain why marine device developers are showing new interest in having experienced subsea contractors complete their marine activities.
Mott, also of Aberdeen, will highlight the work that Fugro Survey has been doing, operating nearshore survey vessels for many years; and will discuss safe working practice and risk assessments for operations for vessels operating up to and through the surf zone. Most of these vessels are capable of operating for 12 hours, or in daylight only, which comes with its own problems in shallow waters.
Mower will discuss the topic of small vessel safety standards when compared to those of larger vessels (500 gross registered tonnes-plus). His primary aim is to raise the topic of certification and auditing of the smaller commercial vessels that support the wind farm industry, asking if there is a case for setting the bar higher, how this might be addressed and the way forward, that is, how the good requirements for larger boats can be applied to smaller workboats.
IMCA’s CEO How Williams said ahead of the October 7 event: “As more of our members (marine contractors, equipment suppliers, clients and consultants) are becoming involved in the sector, we felt the time was right to stage a renewables workshop with ‘Safety in Marine Operations’ as the theme.
“Many marine operations are involved, for example: survey, towage, lifting and installation, cable laying, trenching/burial, diving, crew transfer and maintenance. Often several vessels are on location at the same time, with simultaneous operations (SIMOPS). Much of IMCA’s existing guidance applies just as much to offshore renewables as to offshore oil and gas activities.
UK HSE will provide the legislator’s view in the opening session ‘Safety in Offshore Renewables’ with Ulrik Bjerre-Christensen of Dong Energy speaking on behalf of clients and Chris Streatfeild of RenewableUK providing the trade association perspective.