Connecting the nation with Newcastle’s own multi-million-pound plough
North Shields based manufacturer, Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) recently handed over a purpose built pre lay plough to marine service providers Boskalis, for use at Ørsted’s offshore wind farm Hornsea Two.
The multi-functional pre lay plough will be used by Ørsted contractor, Boskalis to install 380km of export cables which will ultimately connect Hornsea Two’s offshore substation to the site’s onshore substation in Killingholme, Lincolnshire.
Once complete, Hornsea Two will host an array of 165 wind turbines, each standing over 190m above sea level. The wind farm, which will become the world’s largest generating 1.4GW, will be able to power well over 1.3 million homes in the UK with clean electricity.
The pre lay plough, named Megalodon by Boskalis, was manufactured on the north bank of the Tyne by SMD who employ over 240 people, and will benefit from features such as an active steering, multi modes, specialized share design and remote-control access.
Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD said: “This is our third pre-lay plough delivered to date. Together with the Boskalis Innovation team we have developed innovations for this plough which reduce seabed impact and reduce vessel fuel consumption whilst burying to protect the crucial offshore wind infrastructure that is the export cable. I’d like to thank Ørsted and Boskalis for their support and collaborative approach, and we look forward to supporting the plough in service”.
The Megalodon can operate in water at a depth of up to 500m and will be used in collaboration with Boskalis’ offshore support vessel, the BOKA Falcon. With offshore works due to commence in May for Hornsea Two’s offshore construction. Boskalis are working alongside Ørsted to complete cable-laying campaigns for 2020 within six months.
Steve Marshall, Boskalis Project Director for Hornsea Two said: “Boskalis wants to stimulate the local supply chain, not only by purchasing locally but also innovating and collaborating towards achieving the best possible end result.”
Expected to be complete in 2022, Hornsea Two’s wind farm array is dispersed across an area of 462km2, which is equivalent to a larger surface area than the island of Barbados.
Patrick Harnett, Ørsted Senior Programme Director for Hornsea Two said: “We are committed to working with local suppliers where possible and are extremely pleased that Boskalis has chosen SMD as their manufacturer for this specialist piece of equipment.”