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Offshore technology firm Osbit Limited hails “milestone” subsea plough contract

An offshore technology company has hailed its expertise after completing a “milestone project” to support the renewable energy sector.

Osbit Limited has delivered an underwater plough to Global Marine Group.

Bosses say the technology represents “an industry first”, adding it will cut wind farm construction time.

Final assembly and sign-off on the plough, known as PLP240, was completed at Osbit’s Port of Blyth facility.

Northumberland-based Osbit worked in close collaboration with Global Marine Group and its first client for the new plough, Vattenfall, to deliver a burial asset that will help reduce the cost of offshore wind installation.

Officials say the plough offers unrivalled single pass capability, which enables boulder clearance and pre-trenching up to 1.7 metres in a single run, leaving a boulder cleared swathe and a ‘backfill-ready’ open trench with segregated spoil.

They added the plough is also fully subsea adjustable and features an extensive surveillance suite for accurate and effective trenching.

The plough can be reconfigured into backfill mode, which uses the same control and surveillance suite to monitor the cable and trench profile, enabling reliable backfilling while ensuring the safety of the cable at all times.

It is supported by Osbit’s control technology, which consists of an open source modular system incorporating Osbit Integrated Logistics Support asset monitoring, packaged in an ergonomic control cabin.

Following its completion, the plough will be officially launched by Global Marine Group during an event in July.

Robbie Blakeman, Osbit director, said: “We are very proud to have delivered this class-leading subsea plough to Global Marine Group.

“We are committed to developing globally innovative subsea trenching solutions using our proven modular technology and the delivery of this project reinforces the effectiveness of this approach.

“I firmly believe that no other company could have delivered an asset of this technical competence, to the same levels of quality, in the same timeframe.

“These achievements are testament to the skill and focus of our amazing team and our commitment to promoting a pioneering health and safety culture across all of our operations.

“I would like to thank Global Marine Group and Vattenfall for their genuine collaboration, as well as our local supply chain, which played a major part and has again proven the world-class engineering capabilities in the North East.

“This has been a milestone project and I’m delighted to say it has been delivered on-spec, budget and in time, while maintaining our zero lost time injuries record.”

Martyn Drye, director of engineering at Global Marine Group, added: “Our new PLP240 will allow us to reduce the time to first power production by shortening the wind farm construction phase, and therefore delivering an earlier return on investment for our developer clients.

“Through intelligent engineering alongside the Osbit team, we’ve created a versatile solution which integrates cable route preparation, cable laying and trenching – an industry first.

“The PLP240 complements our existing fleet of subsea trenchers and ploughs, offering clients a solution that’s right for them no matter which subsea sector they operate in.”