Van Oord Orders SMD QTrencher for Offshore Wind Work

UK-based designer and manufacturer of subsea remotely operated vehicles Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) has signed a contract with Van Oord for the manufacture and delivery of a QTrencher 1600.

Scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2018, the high power trenching machine will be supplied with an SMD designed umbilical winch, along with jetting and mechanical cutting tools. Additional functionality includes beach operation to offer cable installation for export and inter array campaigns.

The equipment will be loaded directly onto Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Nexus from SMD’s Turbinia Works in Wallsend, UK. The QTrencher 1600 is scheduled to be deployed from the Nexus onto various wind farm projects in 2018, SMD said.

This contract follows the successful deployment of SMD’s QTrencher 1400 by Van Oord on the 600MW Gemini wind farm in the Netherlands, SMD said.

"Van Oord have been using QTrencher 1400 on their Gemini installation campaign so already have good experience with our technology. It’s a strong endorsement of our quality and performance in the field to be able to supply direct to a contractor like Van Oord,” said Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD Trenching, Mining and Renewables.

“With the continuing demand to lower LCOE and obligations to get it right first time, the market is demanding better performance. Our technology is well placed. We look forward to working with Van Oord, ensuring the trencher has a smooth entry into service."

The QTrencher 1600 is the next generation of the QTrencher 1400 model, and the power available to the trenching tools has been optimised for offshore wind applications in shallow water, SMD said.

SMD Services will be providing a service support package for Van Oord. This will include training of technical and operations staff on the vessel during the equipment’s first year of deployment. A package of maintenance and strategic spares will also be supplied.

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