Largely hidden beneath the waves, marine infrastructure is critical to the effective operation of our offshore energy and communication systems. These are the platforms, subsea structures, pipelines, moorings, and power and telecom cables that underpin our offshore activities in oil and gas, wind, wave and tidal energy, and global telecommunications. The design of subsea cables and pipelines can present unique challenges, which are often times in conflict with one another, necessitating a delicate balance be struck between issues like water depth and calculated risk factors.
Putting Our Experience to Work for You
We at WSP possess extensive engineering capabilities, covering geotechnical, electrical (including HVDC) and mechanical aspects of subsea product. Our experience stretches from beach landings and shallow coastal regions to the deep ocean, and environments from the equator to the arctic. This blend of capability and experience enables us to offer you cutting edge, cost-effective solutions.
Offshore wind and marine renewables are relatively young but rapidly developing technologies. The range of physical environment and technology types embraced by individual projects require a combination of electrical, civil, structural, and environmental disciplines, coupled with strengths in health and safety, quality systems, and interface management to ensure effective project delivery. The breadth and depth of our expertise, twinned with its global footprint, makes us a strong partner for the harnessing of offshore wind and marine renewable energy.
Offshore Wind Structures
As the offshore wind market continues to develop and evolve, it is striving to drive down the cost of energy to competitive levels. This has led to the design of larger wind turbines, with consequent challenges relating to the scaling of loads and anticipation of steel rolling, handling, and installation technologies. We have undertaken the concept design for offshore wind farms – for both wind turbine foundations and offshore substation platforms.
We support our offshore wind sector clients in meeting their requirements for port infrastructure, the suitability of ports in terms of manufacturing, assembly, offshore construction support, and ongoing operations and maintenance. Offshore wind platforms require foundations to support its met masts, wind turbines, and offshore substations. This includes techno-economic gap analyses, concept design of marine and manufacturing facilities, and the development of outline cost models and programs.
Subsea Cables and Pipelines
The applications for subsea cables and pipelines are extensive, varied, and often challenging. Depending on the water depth and potential hazards and risks, they need to be carefully routed and protected, with burial by trenching or otherwise given protection. However protection by burial needs to be balanced against the seabed conditions, risk of damage, cost of installation and repair, as well as the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of the product.
In Ireland, we were appointed the client’s representative on a landmark 500MW HVDC project. The East-West Interconnector – which was voted Project of the Year 2013 by Engineers Ireland – is a key pillar in meeting the Irish government’s target to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. At the time of commissioning, it was the largest Voltage Source Convertor (VSC) scheme in operation in the world, carrying enough energy over a distance of 262km (164 miles) to power 300,000 homes. Since going into commercial operation, the interconnector has increased both the security of supply as well as competition within the Irish electricity market.
Quay walls play a crucial role in the operational capacity of ports, shipyards, and other waterside facilities. We provide a wide range of services for the construction, upgrading, and rehabilitation of quay walls and associated facilities. With the size of vessels growing, there is increasing pressure to provide more efficient new infrastructure, or upgrade the existing port facilities through quay wall deepening and rehabilitation. Whether the need is for a new build, upgrading, repair, or refurbishment, our quay wall specialists use their expertise and worldwide experience to find the right solution for our clients.
We tailor our approach to quay wall design to meet our client’s operational objectives, both immediate and for the foreseeable future. We help ports accommodate larger vessels with tactics like quay wall deepening, or by operational improvements such as strengthening the quay to allow for heavier, more efficient wider-outreach cranes. This approach is equally applicable to container and wet and dry bulk terminals as well as more traditional break bulk facilities.