Responding to the challenges of the offshore wind industry: Supply chain constraints
How is Acteon responding to the market demand?
The services offered by Acteon cover all phases of the life cycle of a wind farm development, from site characterisation to operations and maintenance. From this broad vantage point and our early market engagement, we have observed that there are challenges in this market. This has included taking a proactive approach to ensure we can support clients to successfully deliver their renewables projects on time and within budget.
Firstly, we started with our equipment; we are developing new equipment and modifying existing tooling to have the right type and amount of assets in our rental fleet. Our company LDD is taking an existing mooring and lifting tool (the Rocksteady connector) and adopting it for lifting the new bigger monopiles. The remote control quick connect mechanism of the tool eliminates the need for personnel to be under the crane hook, therefore ensuring safe operations. The quick connection also means a saving of significant vessel time throughout a project.
A second example is where LDD is currently designing a new large diameter drill which will be capable of drilling up to a diameter of 12 metres to support the installation of the next generation of large monopiles.
The other challenge to address, which is probably more difficult to overcome, is the requirement for competent personnel to work on the development of new wind farms. As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and the current downturn in oil and gas construction projects has created a pool of talent that has significant transferable skills to the offshore wind market. This transfer of talent from offshore oil and gas development to renewables has helped Acteon companies to have the capacity to plan the delivery of the busy project workload we are seeing for 2021 and beyond.
For example, Acteon company Aquatic have trained up engineers and technicians to work on hammers and drills from across our portfolio. Within the Claxton group, technicians that would have been executing offshore platform decommissioning are now being deployed to transfer the abrasive cutting, high-pressure cleaning and internal dredging to monopile installation campaigns in Europe and Asia for offshore wind development projects. This agility of our workforce and investment in training has helped us to quickly deploy competent teams to meet demanding project schedules.
Integration is key
Another approach Acteon is adopting to meet industry demand is through our internal project management group, Acteon Integrated Solution Ltd (AIS), who are collaborating with clients to connect skills, technologies, products and services wherever they exist across the portfolio for wind farm construction scopes of work. Through the provision of project management from the AIS team, we can work with clients to reduce interfaces on a project and the number of people on the deck, as well as help, optimise the project timeline. To date, this has proven very successful when supporting clients in the marine construction market and we expect it to be used more in the busy renewables market soon.
Offshore renewables buyers guide
Acteon provides a single interface and a holistic structural approach for a wide range of speciality services and equipment from front-end engineering to mooring services and other marine operations such as towing and cable layout. Truly joining up aspects of life-cycle engineering to optimise all phases and account for cause and effect throughout the project, allows us to deliver the lowest Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).