USA-based maritime company Crowley has invested in UK-based Tugdock, which develops a road-transportable floating drydock for the offshore wind energy industry.
The two companies will explore the potential use of the Tugdock Submersible Platform (TSP) in locations such as the US West Coast, where depth and conventional drydocks may be ill-suited for the logistics required, said Crowley.
The patented TSP technology offers a cost-effective solution for developers and ports in the floating offshore wind industry. It was developed to be launched in ports that lack the sufficient water depth and assembly space required to build and load-out floating substructures required to support offshore wind turbines. The technology allows floating drydocks to be delivered by road in modular form and assembled at the port to dimensions far wider than most of the world’s existing dry docks. Once loaded, the platform is then towed to deeper water for launching and transporting the turbines.
“The cost and time constraints associated with port infrastructure developments and submersible barge suitability are major bottlenecks holding back growth of the floating offshore wind sector,” said Lucas Lowe-Houghton, director of strategy and growth at Tugdock. “Our TSP technology helps overcome these issues, providing a ready-to-go solution that does not require planning or environmental permissions. This is a massive benefit as planning permission for a permanent facility could significantly delay project schedules and not provide a return on investment.”
Shane Carr, ceo of Tugdock, added: “[Crowley’s] strategic investment will enable us to take our unique technology to the US floating offshore wind market for the first time. We believe that our new partnership will help accelerate the growth of floating offshore wind in the USA.”
HLPFI readers will recall that Belgian engineered transport specialist Sarens also invested in Tugdock earlier this year to accelerate the development of its solution.
The company is also taking part in a simulation project at the port of Milford Haven’s Pembroke Port facility in Wales that will support the development of floating offshore wind turbine assembly. The project will simulate the processes of manoeuvring large floating wind turbines into and out of Pembroke Port. These simulations will give a detailed understanding of the sequence of events that need to take place to successfully complete these phases of turbine recovery and deployment.
In a later stage of the project, additional simulations will be performed to assess how Tugdock’s floating dry dock technology could be used to increase capability in these processes.
Back in the USA, Crowley Wind Services is developing and planning wind terminals in California, Louisiana and Massachusetts. At the California port of Humboldt Bay, Crowley is progressing on an agreement to build and operate a terminal for manufacturing, installation and operation of offshore wind floating platforms. Crowley said that Humboldt and other West Coast installations will rely upon floating offshore wind turbines.