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UXO expert wins US and Taiwan offshore wind contracts

Unexploded mine and bomb specialist Ordtek has secured its first offshore wind farm projects in the US and Taiwan with energy giant Ørsted.

The Norfolk-based unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk management expert will be supporting the company, formerly DONG, on two offshore wind farms to be developed off the US east coast, Bay State Wind and Ocean Wind Offshore wind farms.

The contracts were secured after Ordtek’s successful UXO risk management work with Ørsted on Walney Extension and Hornsea Project One, both set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farms when they become operational 2018 and 2020.

Hornsea Project One again rewrote the records for UXO finds on an offshore wind farm, exceeding the 40 items identified by Ordtek on Race Bank in 2015.

In Taiwan, Ordtek will research and risk-assess for contamination ahead of construction of  Ørsted’s  Formosa 1 and Greater Changhua offshore wind farms.

Ordtek, which is based in Diss, launched its pioneering interactive on-line MineMap for UK waters in 2016.

The risk map shares vital data the company has collected about areas mined by the British and Germans during the wars, and UXO from military armament training and munitions dumping. The MineMap, which reveals previous UXO finds, has helped to find and remove scores of UXO munitions for offshore wind developers.

The mobile-friendly mapping service was extended to Danish waters and, more recently, to Belgium and the Netherlands.

Director Lee Gooderham said he was looking forward to sharing the news at the Oceanology conference and exhibition next week in London.

“Breaking into the US and Taiwan offshore wind markets, which is very new, is exciting news and has come at just the right time for us. A presence in the US and Taiwan will hopefully open more doors as the industry takes off in both countries.

“Our involvement further afield doesn’t take any focus away from our work in Europe. Our MineMap is already being used on the Borssele Offshore Wind Farm off the Netherlands to help identify the UXO risks for Orsted.”

Ordtek has also entered a partnership to produce UXO and boulder detection best practice guidelines for the offshore environment with offshore geoscience and geotechnical engineering consultancy Cathie Associates.

“Our success and proven record within the UXO risk management field has led to the Offshore Wind Accelerator Project (OWA), a joint programme between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers, commissioning Ordtek, partnered with Cathie Associates, to produce a practical guide to offshore UXO and boulder survey,” Mr Gooderham said.

“The work will examine new and existing survey technologies as well as acquisition and interpretation methods to enable developers to identify the best methods to address the UXO and boulder risks to their projects, and ensure they are undertaken at best practice standards.”

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