6 Alpha Associates has carried out work on three projects under the framework agreement it signed with TenneT, the European grid operator, in January 2014. The work has seen 6 Alpha Associates provide complex survey and risk management consultancy for unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk in the marine environment.
With the continued development of offshore wind projects in European waters, a legacy of unexploded WWII sea mines, munitions dumps and former military testing sites poses a significant threat, both to the successful and timely delivery of these developments and to the safety of the workers and contractors operating offshore.
In light of costly UXO-related delays on a number of high-profile offshore wind projects across Europe, project developers, transmission owners and investors are learning that significant cost savings can be made with the early engagement of a specialist UXO risk consultant.
This has the effect of enabling developers to mitigate the UXO risk in a far more cost effective manner, which may save expensive investigation and clearance operations and in many cases project downtime whilst UXO is removed.
The TenneT projects will see 6 Alpha develop, design and manage the surveying and risk management assessment for all offshore UXO along key cable transmission routes.
“The legacy of war fighting, post war dumping and continuous training has made European waters a hazardous environment for construction,” said Simon Cooke, Managing Director, 6 Alpha Associates.
“Having worked with TenneT previously, and now working with the business under a framework agreement, we’re deploying our expertise to ensure that we can not only deliver project safety but also minimise project delays and ultimately save developers time and money.”
6 Alpha Associates has provided specialist risk consultancy services for 75% of the UK’s Round 3 offshore wind projects, four of five French offshore renewable energy projects and a number of further developments in Dutch and German waters.
In 2014, the firm, which also provides UXO consultancy services for the onshore construction industry, was selected to co-author the CIRIA guide for offshore UXO risk management. That guide is expected to be published in the summer of 2015.