10 October 2016

Hughes completes boulder relocation works

After just 11 months, Hughes SSE completes extensive boulder relocation works at Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. 

Hughes Sub-Surface Engineering (HSSE), which is part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has successfully completed an extensive boulder relocation project at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm site. This has cemented its reputation as an experienced subsea contractor, who is able to offer a comprehensive range of specialised services. 

The company was contracted to relocate the rocks and boulders which were previously littered across the seabed as they were hampering offshore operations in the Rampion field. The boulders were stalling construction and causing health and safety concerns for personnel and equipment, which put foundation and cable installation operations at risk. 

Since HSSE’s mobilisation in October 2015, its team has moved over 10,000 boulders during 263 ROV dives. During this process it utilised the FS Pegasus DP II offshore supply vessel as a suitable working platform to execute the boulder relocation work scope. The FS Pegasus is equipped with the UTROV boulder grab system and full survey spread. It is has a Tritech Gemini imaging sonar mounted on the UTROV frame; this facilitates the use of the hydraulic grab system.

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said:

“The boulder clearance operation helped to ensure that the construction phase of the wind farm remained on schedule, which is due for completion in 2018. The Hughes team did a great job and were professional throughout, delivering the project to a high standard of safety.”

The Rampion Offshore Wind Farm is expected to generate up to 400MW, which is enough energy to power over 290,000 homes. HSSE has a wealth of experience in safe and planned subsea operations – including its proven experience on large scale projects such as the Teeside and Duddon Sands offshore wind farms – which made it the obvious choice for the task. 

Ian Hughes, the managing director at HSSE, commented on the project:

“Hughes has built up an exceptional name in an industry where reputation and expertise is everything. Our high standards ensure that every project is delivered safely and professionally.

The work the team has undertaken at Rampion has not only championed these values, it has cemented our reputation in a niche and complex industry.” 

Rampion is being developed by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank and the Canadian energy group Enbridge. It is located 13km off the Sussex coast and comprises of 116 wind turbines, 122 inter-array cables, an offshore substation platform and two export cables.