Industry First: DEME Drills XL Monopile into French Seabed

DEME has installed the first drilled XL monopile at the Saint-Nazaire wind farm offshore France.


This is the first time this technique has been used to install an XL monopile on an offshore wind farm.

DEME Drills XL Monopile into French Seabed
Source: DEME

Although the first monopile foundations had to be conventionally driven, 73 of the wind farm’s 80 XL monopile foundations have to be drilled through challenging calcarenite rock, DEME said.

The company has for the first time deployed the Offshore Foundation Drill and the tailor-made MODIGA for the project.

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MODIGA is DEME’s innovation which encapsulates the drilling and installation operations and shields them from the adverse Atlantic marine conditions. The MODIGA is deployed from the offshore installation vessel Innovation.

”Together with our consortium partner Eiffage Métal, we are proud to achieve yet another important milestone at Saint-Nazaire, which is set to become the first commercial offshore wind farm in France,” DEME said.

Located between 12 and 20 kilometres off the coast of the Guérande peninsula in western France, the 480 MW Saint-Nazaire is the world’s first wind farm to feature drilled XL monopile foundations.

Also known as Parc du Banc de Guérande, the wind farm will comprise 80 GE Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines expected to be fully commissioned in the summer of 2022.

A consortium of DEME Offshore and Eiffage Métal was awarded the EPCI contract for 80 foundations for the French wind farm in 2019 by Eolien Maritime France (EMF), a consortium between EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge at the time. The scope includes the design, fabrication, transportation, and installation of the foundations.

The same year, Sif received an order from Eiffage Métal for the delivery of the 80 monopiles and primary steel for the 80 transition pieces.

EMF, the owner and developer of the wind farm, now includes EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.