Trelleborg wins cable protection contract for world

Trelleborg Group’s offshore operations has been awarded a contract to supply the Furukawa Electric Company with cable buoyancy and protection, for an experimental floating wind turbine project off the coast of Fukushima, Japan.

The project, which is being headed up by The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan, will be the world’s largest floating wind farm once complete. Located 16 kilometers off the coast of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, it is being developed in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima in March 2011. Trelleborg has supplied a significant number of Distributed Buoyancy Modules (DBMs), Uraduct, Bend Stiffeners and Bend Restrictors for the experimental phase of the project.

John Deasey, Renewables Sales Manager at Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, says: “The Japanese Government has decided to accelerate the move to renewable technologies, and the Fukushima Wind Farm project is a major milestone in the switch from nuclear to renewable for the region. The project known as Fukushima FORWARD is part of a bigger scheme to reconstruct the area.

“The initial project is a five-year trial in which different floating structures will be tested prior to the main windfarm being constructed, with three floating wind turbines and one floating sub-station being tested as part of the experiment. Following its completion in 2020, it is estimated there will be further floating structures. Initially Trelleborg will supply cable buoyancy and protection for the first wind turbine, with the remainder of the project to be completed between 2013 and 2015.

“Securing this contract is a significant achievement for Trelleborg and follows on from previous contract wins in this growing sector, such as the Statoil Hywind project off the coast of Norway and the Windfloat project off the coast of Portugal.”

Furukawa Electric Company commented: “Trelleborg is renowned for its market-leading solutions and systems for the offshore oil and gas industry, its extensive experience in developing custom-made solutions for each project meant it was the natural choice.

“We awarded the contract to Trelleborg as not only did it have an extremely strong track record in regards to its industry knowledge and manufacturing capabilities, its well established products are of exceptionally high quality and the team could deliver the final products to meet the project timescales.”

In floating production scenarios, subsea electrical power cables are used to inter-connect wind turbines on offshore windfarms and also run between the substation (electrical hub of the windfarm) and the shore. Trelleborg’s high performance DBM’s are designed to secure, guide and protect these power cables from excessive movement and bending that could cause fatigue damage.

Deasey continued: “Japan is very well suited for the offshore windfarm projects due to its steep coastal shelf and deep water, so it’s extremely encouraging to see that the area is fully embracing floating windfarm technology. As a leader in the field, we are confident that Trelleborg is well positioned to take advantage of this rapidly expanding sector.”