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Dredging International secures submarine cable installation contract

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Dredging International – part of the DEME Group – has announced that it has secured the contract from Belgian transmission system operator Elia for the submarine power cable installation for the modular offshore grid (MOG) in the North Sea.

DEME claims that it will use its new vessel fleet to execute the works, including its LNG dual-fuel hoppers, Minerva and Scheldt River, as well as its DP3 cable installation vessel, Living Stone.

The MOG, or electricity plug, includes an offshore switchyard platform (OSY), located approximately 40 km off the Zeebrugge coast, to which four wind farms will be connected. DEME claims that submarine cables will connect the platform to a substation located in Belgium, where produced wind energy will be injected in the Belgian onshore grid.

The installation scope covers the supply, installation and maintenance of the submarine power cables. One 220 kV power cable will be installed along a route stretching between the OSY and the first wind farm’s platform for 4.5 km. In addition to this, two 220 kW submarine power cables – each of which measures approximately 39 km – will be installed from the offshore switchyard platform to the onshore connection point at the beach in Zeebrugge. DEME claims that the contract is valued at approximately €130 million, with the cable produced by a subcontractor for DEME – Hellenic Cables (a Greek manufacturer).

For seabed preparation, DEME claims that it will utilise its Minerva and Scheldt River dual-fuel hoppers. These are the newest additions to fleet, and are also the first LNG-powered dredgers in the world. DEME claims that the cable installation work will be carried out by the Living Stone multipurpose vessel, entering the DEME fleet in 2017 and operated by Tideway. The vessel features DP3 capability, and uses dual-fuel engines, with LNG as its prime fuel. Two turntables below deck have a 5000 t cable capacity each, are each capable of carrying, transporting and installing more than 200 km of cable in a single trip.

The MOG is scheduled to be taken into use in 3Q19.

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