Anchored in a growing market

The Danish energy company Ørsted (former DONG Energy) is currently developing an offshore wind farm in the German sector. The wind tubines have an anchoring system using Framo technology.

- An increasing number of companies are investing in energy generation from offshore wind. It is a gowing market, and we are proactive in our efforts to become part of this development, says area sales manager Jørgen Brandt Theodorsen. 

Ørsted aspires to play a leading role in the wind power sector.

New concept

The wind turbines Ørsted is due to install at Borkum Riffgrund 2, a wind farm in the German secotr, will use various anchoring systems depending on the seabed. Where it is stony the anchors will be hammered into the seabed, whereas on soft ground the natural choice is suction buckets. The contract for Borkum Riffgrund 2 involves installation of 20 tripod foundation jackets (three-legged units), for which a total of 60 suction buckets will be pumped in place.

Framo acts as subcontractor to the Norwegian Geoechnical Institute (NGI), which has been a collaboration partner in the field of geology for many years.

- Many of the wind farms developed at the moment are installed in relatively shallow water - at oceans depths down to 50 metres. We offer a new concept based on previous experience and synergies from other suction bucket products, which will ensure that anchoring operations is completed in an effective and safe manner, and will less interference due to complicated elements, says Brandt Theodorsen.

Groundbreaking assignement

The technology behind the suction bucket is a well-known system used in the oil and offshore sector. Framo completed its first oil rig anchoring assignment using the portable TK-150 pump as early as in the mid-1980s. In 1999, the pumps were used to anchor Exxon Diana at 1500-metre depth.

- It was a groundbreaking assignment, and is still one we use as reference point today. This is experience we have transferred to other areas, such as the ROLS used to recover oil from sunken vessels. The Dong project opens up a new market for us in terms of larger wind farm installations. There are many companies in Northern Europe looking to invest in the development of wind farms offshore.

The offshore wind power market has been growing fast the last years. The installed capacity in 2015 is expected to be double by 2020.

- We have a lot of work to do in terms of sales, projects and follow-up. However, the market is in our favour, and that is always positive, says Brandt Theodorsen.

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