As the pressure to harness energy from renewable sources intensifies, the offshore wind sector has seen rapid growth. In the UK and Germany alone, the respective governments have ambitious 2020 targets for offshore wind generated power. Petrofac is perfectly placed to service this sector.
There are clear synergies between our existing service competencies and the offshore wind sector and that is why it provides another opportunity to support Petrofac’s continued growth – one of the key reasons why our involvement in wind power has been steadily increasing over the last few years. We’ve worked in some of the world’s harshes environments and have gained a vast amount of experience supporting the international oil & gas community. Not only can we draw on this knowledge and track record to meet the demands of offshore wind operators, we have already had a great deal of success in the offshore wind sector in the areas of engineering, consultancy services, project delivery, operations and maintenance, and training. We have achieved this by aligning our
services with the life cycle of the offshore wind energy assets on either a stand-alone or integrated basis, and under flexible commercial models. As such, we have helped customers in the UK and Germany to bring their projects through development, construction and operations phases.
How do we offer specialist project support and development?
As we find more ways to use our skills in the offshore sector, we are also increasing our numbers of dedicated specialists with industry experience. Although this team is distributed across our business units, they work together to provide an integrated set of services. Their focus is to identify and deliver offshore wind projects, drawing on their project management, engineering, operations and training expertise.
Within the Group, there are specialist areas that enable us to offer operators a more focused service. For example, TNEI specialises in energy consultancy. Its power systems and technology team is currently working alongside our Engineering & Consulting Services business to deliver concept engineering related to work packages for two offshore wind farms in Scottish waters – Moray Firth and Inch Cape. These packages are the ‘within wind farm’ and ‘wind farm to onshore grid’ electrical systems. Overall our approach is to bring together the right skills from wherever they sit within our organisation to meet the needs of our customer.
How will Petrofac work with the offshore wind sector in the future?
As the offshore wind industry continues to develop at pace, it is clear that our oil & gas experience will significantly serve operators in this sector – on a number of levels. Already this year we have been able to prequalify and tender for engineering, procurement, & construction (EPC) and engineering, procurement, installation & commissioning (EPIC) scopes connected with constructing elements of offshore wind farm grid connections. Hopefully we will be able to bring you news of our success in the future.
Focus: Breaking new ground
Since 2011 and following on from our involvement with the BorWin Alpha, the world’s first offshore HVDC converter station, Petrofac has worked with the operator TenneT on the DolWin1 HVDC (high voltage direct current) station in the German sector of the North Sea. When the contract was awarded, it was the largest HVDC station of its kind. It weighs close to 12,000 tonnes and will be a hub for the Borkum West II offshore wind farm development situated off the coast of Northern Germany.
The Company’s involvement in the project was two-fold. Firstly, we provided engineering support, design validation against the contract, applicable design codes and industry practice. Secondly, we offered construction supervision at the topside and foundation
fabricators’ yards. The project was managed at the Offshore Projects & Operations (OPO) office in Aberdeen, with integrated personnel in both the customer’s project office and the fabrication yards. This enabled Petrofac to offer hands-on, day-today input into areas such as build sequence, compliance and HSE.
Drew Russell, VP – Offshore Projects, OPO said: “In assisting TenneT with the offshore engineering, construction, installation, hook-up and commissioning of DolWin 1, we have been able to bring our traditional oilfield experience and translate this into the emerging offshore wind industry. This is an exciting project and one that gives us more demonstrable experience in the offshore wind arena. It is already affording us further opportunities with TenneT and other power transmission companies, both in the UK and internationally.”
Focus: Setting safety and competence standards
As offshore wind projects have become larger, more complex and have moved further offshore, it has become increasingly necessary for skilled workers to be able to move between projects in different geographies. As such, the industry recognises the need to ensure the safety and competency of all personnel on all projects. That’s why, in 2011, Petrofac was approached by the renewable energy sector to develop high quality and consistent safety training and competency standards across the UK and German sectors.
The Company worked closely with the German training provider Deutsche WindGuard to deliver bespoke range of training courses for the renewable industry. Petrofac was able to draw on more than 30-years’ experience in developing and delivering training and competency for the oil & gas industry, while Deutsche WindGuard has renewable industry experience and a world-class training facility. Together, they combined their expertise to address the different challenges and hazards specific to the offshore wind industry. This unique approach has meant project developers that share teams across borders can get the quality assurance needed to build a consistently competent workforce.