Fugro has been awarded a new marine site investigation contract by Vattenfall for their Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm located off England’s east coast.

The 1.4 GW wind farm forms part of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone and will generate enough clean energy to power 1.5 million UK homes while offsetting 2.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year. This investigation follows on from a four-month marine site characterisation campaign in 2020.

From August 2022, Fugro will mobilise multiple geophysical and geotechnical vessels from local ports to complete full coverage surveys across the Norfolk Boreas wind farm, inter-array cables and export cable routes. These operations will include the use of Fugro’s SEACALF® Mk V DeepDrive® system for seabed cone penetration tests (CPTs) and Fugro’s innovative Blue Snake™ geotechnical system. The Blue Snake™ integrates CPT and sampling technology to enable safe, efficient and high-quality data acquisition along the cable route. These assets will ensure high rates of operability while also meeting Fugro’s standards for safety and sustainability.

In the first phase of the project, geophysical surveys and unexploded ordnance (UXO) surveys will be completed followed by a 2D ultra high-resolution seismic (UHRS) survey to provide detailed seabed and shallow sub-surface information. The collected Geo-data will not only support the positioning of the inter-array cables, but also enhance the safety of future operations, facilitate route planning and improve project design.

Following the fieldwork, an extensive laboratory testing programme will be delivered by Fugro’s UK laboratories in Wallingford and Consett with support from their newly certified and accredited laboratory in Belgium.

The resulting Geo-data from Fugro’s investigations will feed into the ground model for the Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms to optimise foundation and cable design. Fugro is also supporting Vattenfall on several other projects across Europe.

Rob Anderson, Project Director of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone, said: “It’s fantastic to have Fugro onboard with us, providing their expertise as we deliver a major project that will provide millions of people around the country with low cost, low carbon power. It’s also great that we’ll be using local ports, delivering on our commitment to the local community and supply chain.”

John ten Hoope, Fugro’s Marine Site Characterisation Director for Europe and Africa, said: “We’re proud to continue working with Vattenfall on their next generation of wind farms. Fugro is uniquely positioned to provide a range of resources – vessels, equipment and experienced engineers and geoconsultants – to support complex offshore infrastructure projects. Using innovative technologies, we will provide critical, high-quality Geo-data to help de-risk future developmental phases of the Norfolk wind farms, supporting the UK’s energy transition.”

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