Fletcher Group, an Aberdeen-based platform supply vessel (PSV) operator, has entered the offshore wind market following ROV operations and boulder clearance carried out at an offshore wind project, which the company left unnamed.
After 20 years of supporting the oil and gas industry, Fletcher said it is now expanding into offshore wind with a new cost-efficient solution.
Namely, the company said that it will contribute to offshore wind cost reduction by offering a one-stop-shop service for seabed preparation, including survey, boulder clearance, UXO identification and de-risk, and cable intervention. According to Fletcher, savings will be made by utilizing a combination of their DP PSVs and an in-house ROV, named Zodiac TT.
Managing Director Keith Fletcher said: “The novel method of combining our own dynamically positioned supply vessel with our own technology for seabed preparation offers the industry much needed efficiencies and genuine cost reduction.”
As part of the diversification process, Fletcher has been employing new people and has brought in Colin Millum, who designed ROVs and propulsion systems at Sub-Atlantic (sold to Forum Energy Technologies in 2007). Millum has been appointed as Fletcher’s Technical Director.
Mike Porter, the company’s operations director, said: “Fletcher will be employing people traditionally working in oil and gas, giving them an opportunity to transfer to renewables. We are building the UK’s ability to service windfarm contracts across offshore Europe. Renewables is an exciting new part of Aberdeen and the UKs future as an Energy hub.”
UK subsea companies encouraged to diversify into offshore wind
Lately, UK companies working within the oil and gas industry are strongly encouraged to tap into the offshore wind market, which is set to spend GBP 210 billion in the coming decade.
An industry body Subsea UK has urged companies to expand into the renewables sector to sustain long-term growth. Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “If we can help companies to access the offshore wind market ahead of the predicted £210 billion global deployment boom, exporting their wealth of skills, innovation and experience, the rewards will be huge.”
Last month, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) launched innovation challenges to help companies working in the oil and gas industry diversify into offshore renewables sector.
Also, after launching its GBP 6 million grant fund in July, OrbisEnergy emphasised renewables opportunities for oil and gas businesses amidst the downturn in their main playing field, through adapting their ideas to offshore wind, wave and tidal power.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson recently said that companies across the oil and gas supply chain stand to benefit significantly from the further development of offshore wind industry and that some oil and gas businesses are already playing an active role in offshore wind. He then pointed out that the opportunities will continue to grow strongly with today’s 11.5GW installed base set to rise to 23.5GW in 2020 and, if governments do the right thing, over 60GW in 2030.
Offshore WIND Staff