BAM set to build and install world’s first gravity base foundations for offshore wind turbines

BAM International has achieved a worldwide first having been awarded a contract to design, fabricate and install five full-size gravity base foundations for wind turbines off the Northumberland coast in the UK. The contract has been awarded to BAM by EDF Energy Renewables via SPV Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd and utilises leading edge technology, the first of its kind to be built in the world.

The foundation design will utilise ‘self-installing’ technology, which has been developed by two BAM companies, BAM Nuttall and BAM Infra. The design is being undertaken by BAM Infraconsult.

The project itself will be a demonstration project to prove the viability of this approach to installing gravity base foundations in the offshore environment for future wind farms. All fabrication will be carried out locally in Newcastle on the River Tyne and the project is due for completion during summer 2017.

Commenting on the award, BAM Nuttall’s Head of Civil Engineering Malcolm Corlett stated: ‘This is a very significant milestone not just for BAM but for the wider offshore wind sector. An opportunity to demonstrate the potential for self-installing concrete gravity bases to provide economic foundations for large wind turbines in deeper water. Following five years of intensive work refining our design and method of construction we now have a live project to demonstrate our technology and bring new skills and opportunity to the North East of England.’

Five units in total
Combined concrete and steel structure
Water depth – 40 m
Height overall – 60 m
Base diameter – 30 m
On bottom weight – 13,000 t

BAM has a worldwide reputation for delivering some of the most complex and challenging civil engineering projects and in the UK has delivered several significant schemes that are helping to shape modern Britain. Royal BAM Group has a diverse range of customers in both public and private sector with an annual turnover of £5.5 billion across all sectors employing over 21,000 people. Within the UK BAM Nuttall delivers significant civil engineering schemes in rail, marine, tunnelling, highways, remediation and water sectors, working with both its UK sister and European group companies to provide a complete service. BAM’s collaborative approach to delivery of challenging multidisciplinary projects includes Network Rail Frameworks, HS1, Crossrail, Borders Rail, London 2012 Olympics and LU Station upgrades.

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