DEME has been awarded two transport and installation contracts (1) for the foundations and the offshore substation for the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands’ offshore wind farm. For DEME this is the second major offshore wind farm project in France following groundbreaking solutions and industry-first technology deployed at Saint-Nazaire.
DEME Offshore will execute the pre-piling works for the offshore substation jacket, and the transport and installation of the 2,700-tonne topside. The scope of work also includes the transport and installation of monopile foundations and transition pieces. The wind farm is being developed by Éoliennes en Mer des Îles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier (EMYN), a consortium including Ocean Winds (an ENGIE and EDPR joint venture), Sumitomo Corporation, La Banque des Territoires and Vendée Energie.
Rocky seabed and challenging ocean conditions
Just like Saint-Nazaire, the wind farm is located in a very rocky area, with challenging ocean conditions. Therefore, the installation of the monopile foundations will again require DEME’s state-of-the-art drilling technology and some of the equipment, methods and tools deployed at Saint-Nazaire will be reused. This includes the giant 350-tonne Offshore Foundation Drill developed together with Herrenknecht and the so-called MODIGA. At 60 m high, the MODIGA encapsulates the drilling and installation operations, protecting them from the harsh marine conditions, which in turn, improves operational working time substantially.
DEME’s offshore installation vessel ‘Innovation’ will carry out the foundation installation. Similar techniques and vessels successfully deployed at the Saint-Nazaire wind farm will be used for the substation pre-piling works, which will be executed in the second half of 2023. Allseas’ vessel ‘Pioneering Spirit’ will be used to install the substation jacket and topside. The installation of the monopile foundations, substation jacket and topside are scheduled to start in the first half of 2024.
Yves Chiffoleau, Business Unit Director South Europe at DEME Offshore, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded a second major offshore wind project in France. Saint-Nazaire was an extraordinary project and a challenging one. Many thought it was impossible to drill an entire wind farm into rock, but our expert project team successfully accomplished the project ahead of schedule. We will again deploy our cutting-edge technology and the innovative methodologies developed by our fantastic engineers at Yeu and Noirmoutier. We look forward to working closely with our client to bring clean energy to thousands of French households and to support the country on its journey to achieve the energy transition.”
“This contract’s signature for the transport and installation of the monopile foundations and the substation is an important step towards the EMYN’s construction phase assuring a proven technology for a challenging installation in safe conditions. The Yeu and Noirmoutier offshore wind farm will produce clean energy as from 2025 for almost 800,000 people – more than the current population of the Vendée department – helping to diversify the energy mix and to continue the quest for carbon neutrality,” added Paolo Cairo, President of the company “Eoliennes en Mer des Iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier”.
(1) The combined contracts represent a ‘large’ contract, which DEME defines as having a total value of more than EUR 300 million.