Mr. W. van der Velde, Chief Technical Officer of Seaway Heavy Lifting and Mr. A.A .Kromhout, Managing Director of IHC Offshore Systems, were all smiles when they signed a recent “hush hush deal.” Under it, IHC Offshore Systems, part of IHC Merwede will rent offshore contractor Seaway a noise mitigation system that will protect marine life from the noise caused by offshore pile-driving
Seaway Heavy Lifting will operate the IHC Offshore NMS-6900 system during the installation of 30 monopile foundations for the Riffgat offshore wind farm off the northwest coast of Germany. The NMS-6900 will be operational on location in the North Sea by June 2012.
The system consists of a double-wall steel screen capable of resisting harsh offshore conditions such as current and wave impact. A special guiding system has been incorporated to keep the monopile and NMS-6900 concentric. Variable glide pads enable safe guidance for a range of both straight and tapered pile sizes. An advanced multi-level bubble injector system provides an additional noise barrier. A mud-mat flange at the bottom of the screen assures stable and safe positioning of the NMS-6900 on the seabed.
The NMS-6900 is an addition to the large existing rental fleet of IHC Merwede’s Hydrohammers, handling tools and piling templates, which have been serving offshore installation contractors for many years. The contract includes site assistance throughout the whole project – IHC Offshore Systems service engineers will monitor all functions and support with the operation of the system.
The NMS-6900 design is based on an extensive range of research and testing programs. During its first commercial contract, IHC Offshore Systems will monitor the NMS- 6900 continuously to gain information required to further reduce noise levels. This not only contributes to a healthier sea life, but also paves the way for contractors to comply with noise level limits set by governments for the installation of many offshore wind farms planned up to 2020.
For the Riffgat project, IHC Hydrohammer, also part of IHC Merwede, has been awarded a contract to provide of an S1800 hammer to carry out piling. The IHC Hydrohammer S1800 – in conjunction with the NMS-6900 – will enable Seaway Heavy Lifting to drive the piles with much less noise.
January 17, 2012