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DemoSATH construction set to begin

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Saitec Offshore Technologies and RWE Renewables have chosen Ferrovial for the manufacture and assembly of the SATH floating platform in the DemoSATH project.

The construction package will last for 14 months and includes site planning, concrete precasting, steel bulkhead procurement and floater assembly, along with supply chain management.

“This is Ferrovial’s first floating offshore wind project and it represents a great opportunity to add value to the project, based on our experience in marine construction and landmark pre-stressed concrete structures. Moreover, this project has a large innovation component, not only because of the materials but also because of the manufacturing and assembly processes that it will develop.”

Alberto Val, Ferrovial construction manager in Basque Country.

The first multi-megawatt floating offshore wind turbine linked to the Spanish grid will be installed by the DemoSATH project. For the prototype, in the Port of Bilbao, the structure and the 2MW wind turbine will be installed.

The structure’s base will be approximately 30 meters wide and about 64 meters long. The platform, including the turbine, will be towed to its test field (BIMEP) anchorage point, 2 miles off the coast at a depth of 85 meters.

The floating body will be kept in place by hybrid mooring lines, consisting of chains and fibres, fixed to the seabed. It is anticipated that the device will go into service in early 2022.

“Our ambition is to rapidly advance towards commercial production. DemoSATH is therefore not only proving the technical feasibility of the SATH technology, but is also demonstrating how these structures can be mass produced. Ferrovial is the perfect partner to rely on and to ensure we meet our objectives.”

David Carrascosa, CTO of Saitec Offshore Technologies.

The electricity generated by DemoSATH will provide adequate annual electricity to meet the power needs of 2,000 homes and will prevent more than 5,100 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

In February 2020, Saitec joined forces with RWE on this project so that the German company could fund part of the cost of the project and contribute its vast expertise as the world’s second largest offshore wind participant, gaining access to the resulting findings in exchange.

“We are pleased to see that the DemoSATH project is entering the manufacturing phase now and making good progress towards offshore installation in 2022. We see great potential for floating wind farms worldwide, especially in countries with deeper coastal waters, where this opens up attractive opportunities. As part of this large-scale demonstration project, we are gaining experience with an innovative concrete-based platform technology that will help us to position ourselves in this growth market.”

Sven Utermöhlen, COO wind offshore global of RWE Renewables.

The aim of the project is to gather data from the design, operation and maintenance of the unit and gain real-life information. In addition to the construction phase that will be used in the future for mass manufacturing, DemoSATH will assess the offshore actions of the platform.

The different parts of the floater will first be precast and then assembled to show the efficiency of the industrial production that we have invented for future developments in commercial wind farms.

Its capacity as a local content enabler will also be demonstrated by SATH technology, primarily due to the use of concrete as the main construction material. The DemoSATH project would invest 90 percent of its building budget on the local supply chain (less than 50 kilometers from the site.)

Nedim Husomanovic

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