LDD Inks Drilling Contract for Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm (UK)

LDD, an Acteon company, has won a multimillion-pound contract with RWE npower renewables to provide specialist drilling services to help install 160 wind turbine foundations at the Gwynt y Môr wind farm 18 km off the North Wales coast.

LDD will commission what is believed to be the world’s largest and most-powerful reverse-circulation drill, and four of its specialist engineers will operate the drill from on board RWE’s installation vessel later this year when the offshore development work begins.

The Gwynt y Môr project consists of 160 turbines producing a total of 576 MW of energy, two offshore substations, a large new onshore substation and 11 km of underground cabling. It is a shared investment between partners RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München GmbH and Siemens. Once fully operational, Gwynt y Môr wind farm is expected to produce energy equivalent to the average annual needs of around 400,000 homes.

Drilling will be undertaken using the new LDD-designed LD5000 drill rig. The bottomhole assembly will be configured to drill a standard 4.3-m-diameter rock socket, which can be increased up to 6 m in diameter by engaging the drill bit underreamers. Sister company MENCK is providing its MHU1900S piling hammer for the project.

Mark Richards, vice president, LDD, said, “Designing the drill bit with the capacity to expand to 6 m presented a significant engineering challenge to our designers. We have worked to ensure the equipment will be ready and in place for the start of the offshore works.

 “This is our first contract in the renewables market, but our team of specialist engineers brings years of offshore drilling experience from the oil and gas industries. This contract for Gwynt y Môr is an exciting development in our plant holding and a strong statement of our intent to serve the offshore renewables foundation installation market.”

 RWE npower renewables Gwynt y Môr project director, Toby Edmonds, said, “LDD demonstrated huge enthusiasm and commitment to the project during the tender process, and we are very pleased to engage it to provide relief drilling services.”

LDD has been contracted to provide continuous relief drilling services for two years throughout the offshore construction of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm.

RWE npower renewables is the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy and is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers and operators. It is committed to developing and operating wind farms and hydro and biomass plants to produce sustainable electricity. The company operates 19 hydroelectric power projects and 26 wind farms in the UK, including the country’s first major offshore wind farm, North Hoyle.


Source: acteon, July 21, 2011