Kvaerner has signed a contract with Equinor to study how the floating substructures for the Hywind Tampen project in the North Sea might be designed and constructed, and hopes to win more offshore wind work in due course.
The objective of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) assignment is to mature the design of the concrete substructures, identify appropriate construction site(s) and develop a plan for construction and the cost of producing 11 floating concrete substructures.
Kvaerner Renewables senior vice president Peder Christian Melleby said another important part of the FEED contract is to establish drivers and set targets for cost reduction to establish the safest and most cost-efficient concept for project execution. “This is a good match for the continuous cost and schedule improvement programmes Kvaerner has implemented over the past four to five years,” he said.
In 2018, Equinor and its partners announced they had decided to explore the possibility of supplying the Gullfaks and Snorre offshore fields with power from floating offshore wind. The oil and gas platforms could be the world’s first to obtain power demand from floating wind turbines.
The solution being considered is an offshore windfarm consisting of 11 wind turbines based on Equinor’s floating offshore wind concept, Hywind. The 8-MW turbines will have a combined capacity of 88 MW and are estimated to meet about 35% of the annual power demand of the five Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms. In periods of higher wind speeds this percentage will be significantly higher.
Kvaerner is best known for its work on concrete structures for the offshore oil and gas sector, and for providing engineering, procurement, construction and installation of fixed and floating platforms.
The company said it has identified offshore wind as a potential growth area in the coming decades. It already offers fixed and floating substructures in steel and concrete as well as converter platforms for offshore windfarms.
“During the FEED period we will develop the smartest possible solution to bring down the cost of production cost and execution time,” said Mr Melleby. “Our ambition is to present an attractive concept and delivery model to Equinor and its partners and that they choose to realise the Hywind Tampen project with Kvaerner’s solution.”
The final FEED study report will be delivered on 1 April 2019. Kvaerner will manage the project from its headquarters outside Oslo, Norway, shown here.