Offshore oil player SBM launches new-look floating wind design with eye on Norwegian pilot

Transitioning energy contractor SBM Offshore has unveiled a new floating wind platform concept, with plans to have a first 16MW prototype ready in time for the award of projects that are part of the seabed auction now underway in Norway.

Details of the pilot project for the Float4Wind design, a steel tension-leg platform (TLP) for water depths of 100-2,000 metres, were limited, with the company confirming only that it was “subject to sanctioning and would be [developed] together with a partner” a site in the North Sea where waters are some 200 meters deep.

The concept – a second-generation design from SBM, a veteran in the oil & gas industry’s floating market that is supplying its mark-1 design for EDF’s in-development Provence Grand Large array off France – has been engineered for manufacturability, with inclined tension legs designed to reduce nacelle motions to boost turbine output from a smaller marine ‘footprint’.

“The [Float4Wind] system is the essence of what we have been doing over the years [in offshore oil & gas]: standardisation, industrialisation, creating new solutions,” stated SBM CEO Bruno Chabas, launching the design via a LinkedIn livestream.

“It is a continuation [in engineering terms] of a long story at SBM… and is one step to creating a new future [in the floating wind market] for us,” he said, referring to the company’s “concrete ambition” to being booking an annual market share of 2GW by 2030.

Severine Baudic, managing director of SBM New Energies, added: “Oil & gas expertise brings a lot of value to the offshore wind industry. It’s a natural evolution in our journey. We have lots of competencies that we can import from those decades of designing, building [in the floating oil market], the execution and fabrication of complex projects.

Source: Recharge