Ramora UK to Destroy UXO at Galloper

Specialist explosive ordnance disposal contractor Ramora UK is preparing to undertake a programme of disposal of items previously identified as unexploded wartime ordnance, found on the seabed where the 336MW Galloper wind farm will be built off the Suffolk coast.

The bombs were identified during surveys undertaken ahead of the offshore construction starting this summer.

Ramora UK will use a combination of remotely operated vehicles and explosive charges deployed in close proximity to the objects, to safely destroy the suspected unexploded ordnance (UXO).

The objects, confirmed as Allied and German air and sea delivered WWII ordnance, were positively identified by the local firm Ordtek, who operate of out Lowestoft. The company was appointed by Aberdeen-based subsea services provider N-Sea, to provide specialist UXO advice to the project.

As well as appointing Ordtek, N-Sea’s multi-support vessel, the Siem N-Sea, will survey the turbine and cabling areas for UXO at the main site. The company’s dive support vessel, Neptunus, will undertake similar work in shallow water areas.

All the required licences and permissions are in place and proper advisory notices and information is being passed to relevant authorities, local fishermen and other seafarers, Galloper Wind Farm Ltd (GWFL), the consortium behind the project, said.

“Finding wartime ordnance is not a surprise given the history of the area we are working in. Although we are here to build the wind farm, we take on the responsibility of dealing with any wartime ordnance we find which will make the sea a safer place for everyone that uses it,” Galloper Wind Farm Ltd, Project Director, Toby Edmonds, said.

“We will safely remove these bombs as soon as possible but we will have to wait for the weather and sea state conditions to be just right so we can’t say precisely when it will happen but it will take place in June. We’ve found a number of devices and these are located between four and twenty six nautical miles off the coast, so some of the controlled explosions may be visible from shore. Until the bombs are destroyed, a 300m exclusion zone remains in place around them with work continuing as usual in other parts of the offshore construction site.”

Galloper is an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm. The offshore construction phase is scheduled to start in June 2016 and is expected to be completed in late 2017. The wind farm will commence operation in March 2018.

The wind farm will comprise 56 Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 6MW, installed some 27km off the coast of Suffolk.

GWFL is a GBP 1.5 billion joint equity partnership of 25% each between RWE Innogy UK, UK Green Investment Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital.