Petrofac has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Seawind Ocean Technology, the developer of a unique floating offshore wind energy system.
Netherlands-based Seawind has designed proprietary, two-bladed floating wind turbines integrated with a unique concrete floating structure, which it says makes them suitable for installation in all seas, including cyclonic regions and ultra-deep waters.
Its two turbine designs, Seawind 6-126 and Seawind 12-225, are DNV GL qualified and – according to the company – can outperform existing 3-blade turbine designs.
It also features a “teetering hinge” component, which “decouples” the shaft from rotor, protecting the turbine in the event of harmful loads, and is designed for an operating life of fifty years, with one major turbine replacement.
Through the MOU, energy services group Petrofac will initially support design verification of the system and, thereafter, is positioned to provide project management services in connection with Seawind’s first 6.2MW floating offshore wind turbine demonstrator, due for deployment in European waters by the first quarter of 2024.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two will collaborate on the delivery of early floating offshore wind plant concessions, initially in the Mediterranean Sea and subsequently in other European and global locations, as well as work towards the electrification of other offshore energy assets.
Petrofac chief operating officer of new energy services, John Pearson, said that the recent ScotWind offshore wind leasing announcement have signalled a major commitment towards achieving the UK’s net zero targets.
“More than half the awards were granted for floating wind projects, which we consider a major driver of our growth ambitions in the new energy sector,” he added.
“We look forward to deploying more than a decade of offshore wind expertise in support of Seawind Ocean Technology and the growing floating wind sector.”
Seawind CEO Vincent Dewulf commented: “Today we are delighted to announce our strategic collaboration with Petrofac which will strengthen our execution capability for our promising initial projects.”
“Seawind has developed a unique patented technology that deploys the teetering hinge two blade wind turbine technology, which has many benefits for offshore application. Assembly of the complete system is made in a harbour with land-based cranes, no installation vessels are required for installation at sea,” he continued.
Petrofac has been working with renewable energy projects since 2008 and has an extensive track record designing and fabricating offshore wind substations.
In 2020, it was awarded the design, supply and installation of the High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) onshore and offshore substations for the 1.1 GW Seagreen offshore wind farm in Scotland.
More recently it also appointed Phaedra Pritchard as head of offshore wind operations and maintenance, in a bid to bolster its offering in the new energy market.