The potential demand for aggregates for ballast, scour protection and concrete in the UK to deliver gravity bases for offshore wind farms has been increased since the release of Offshore Wind: A 2013 Supply Chain Health Check by BVG Associates for The Crown Estate.
In this report, elements in the supply chain are assessed and ultimately rated on a green, amber and red scale. The majority of the 22 elements are given a green rating. Tellingly, one of only three elements to be judged red is vessels for installing steel foundations (previously amber), and both steel and concrete foundations are rated as amber as in June 2012.
“Clearly there is still work to be done to avoid foundations and their installation being a restriction on the UK offshore wind project. However, with concrete gravity bases not being restricted by installation vessels their potential market share can be viewed more positively than the steel alternatives,” says the report.
BVG acknowledge that for concrete gravity bases: “A manufacturing facility can be built quickly”; “…designs do not need the costly heavy lift crane vessels…”; “…have benefits, including reducing exposure to relatively volatile steel prices and removing the need for sea bed piling, which is likely to be a major planning constraint for some projects,” and “…unlike other novel technologies, there is confidence in the long term performance of concrete structures in offshore applications from other sectors.”
BVG Associates will be presenting the report at the Offshore Wind London Conference on Thursday, 5 December hosted by the Concrete Centre, which is part of the