The Seamole (previously Excalibur), a recently upgraded remotely operated vehicle (ROV), has successfully completed its first round of projects burying offshore power cables for Prysmian Powerlink Services Ltd.
The Seamole trenching vehicle was originally designed and manufactured by Tyneside-based subsea engineering specialist Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) in 2000 for use in the telecommunications industry.
Now, after an upgrade and modernisation programme designed to maximise the technical capability of the vehicle, it has been deployed by Prysmian Powerlink Services on long interconnector projects and various major offshore wind farms.
After completion of the upgrade work by engineers in SMD Services business, Seamole now boasts 200kW of increased jetting capability within the limits of the 900kW installed power. This jetting power can be deployed in high or low pressure jet modes to make Seamole capable of the depth of cable burial required in the offshore power industry. This depth is now achievable in a range of seabed strengths including strong cohesive soils, SMD said.
“Building on the quality and integrity of the vehicle’s original specification we were able to complete a number of modifications that have extended Seamole’s service life beyond the 17-year history it already has. The upgrades we have completed enable the vehicle to be deployed in the even more operationally demanding offshore power industry,” Graham Puntis, Managing Director of SMD Services, said.
“Prysmian Powerlink Services is a long-standing and valued customer of SMD and our respective technical teams worked closely to establish the precise requirements for the upgraded vehicle. I’m delighted this collaboration has seen our customer gain a significant competitive edge meaning it will no longer need to sub-contract the burial of the majority of power cables and can rely instead on its own bespoke vehicle.”