Blue Abyss, a GBP 65 million subsea, Space and life science training, research and testing centre designed by Robin Partington and planned to be operational by the end of the next year, will incorporate the world’s biggest training pool.
At 50 metres deep with 41,000m³ volume complete with hyperbaric and hypobaric chambers, it will be capable of simulating challenging offshore environments, according to the Blue Abyss team.
With its poolside crane and opening roof, that allows up to 100 tonnes of equipment to be lifted and submerged into the pool, the team behind Blue Abyss is targeting the offshore wind and oil & gas sectors and is currently in talks with the industry about how Blue Abyss facilities could support and accelerate innovation in their respective fields and help in meeting the demands for cost reduction.
“There is huge pressure on offshore wind to bring down its costs and the companies involved are looking at every way to achieve that. Having a facility like blue abyss within easy travel distance of the east coast, with its huge potential to support innovation, fits into achieving these targets. Our clients can simulate the ROV installation of J tubes and connecting cables, changing bearings at the base of a turbine tower… The list is endless,” said Celia Anderson from the Blue Abyss team.
The contained and controlled environment with pressure testing, is an ideal environment for research and development for subsea equipment, diver decompression and dry dives, she said.
Blue Abyss would also offer a conference amphitheatre and training rooms, a 120-bed hotel with large central community area and on-site parking at the University of Essex’s Knowledge Gateway Innovation Park.
The team is in the final stages of securing funding before seeking full planning consent for the site.