Suction Pile Tech Wins ‘Pioneering Technology Award’

The companies behind the suction pile technology have been recognized with the Pioneering Technology Award.

Former Forewind survey manager, Tor Inge Tjelta, has been inducted into the Offshore Energy Center’s Hall of Fame in Houston for his work with suction pile technology spanning some 30 years, and now used within the offshore wind energy sector.

Along with this honour he, and others from Statoil, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and Shell, were presented with the Pioneering Technology Award for their contribution to the offshore industry, specifically the positive impact the suction pile technology has had globally.

“This is actually the third time being officially recognised for work on this technology, as we strive to continually improve it to reduce costs, adapt to new technical requirements and keep ahead of the competition,” Tjelta said. “We have used both experience and evolution, via observing and measuring performance, to drive the improvements.”

The foundation technology is in effect an upended steel bucket placed on the seabed and installed using its own weight and suction achieved by pumping out water. It is recognised as faster, more cost-effective and quieter than many alternative options such as conventional piles or drag embedded anchors.

Tjelta’s input included research and development from the mid-1980s and together with colleagues in Statoil, he has worked to introduce this solution to the offshore energy market.

The two meteorological masts at Dogger Bank were placed on top of Universal Foundation Norway’s Mono Bucket foundations, which were affixed to the seabed via the suction approach.