Source: Recharge, Global Offshore Wind Special Edition (June 2018) - D. Sniekus
The scale of Europe’s offshore power interconnection prize — 20,000 km of new cabling needed by early next decade — is proving epic enough to keep Prysmian’s foot on the investment pedal despite a leaner few years for the sector than expected.
The looming proliferation of high-voltage interconnections between nations and larger offshore wind farms further from shore have convinced Prysmian to sign off on a second major capital investment in five years to build a €170 m ($198 m) state-of-the-art cable-laying supership, retool its manufacturing lines for 66kV high-voltage technology, and stage a $3bn takeover of US rival General Cable.
The new, as-yet-unnamed, cable-lay vessel will ultimately replace veteran Giulio Verne, which has been in operation since 1985 and now has“a few grey hairs”, Raul Gil, Submarine Power Business Leader, tells Recharge.
On track for christening in the second half of 2020, the ship will set a new standard for “capacity and capability” with twin 7,000-tonne cable carousels, robotic trenching and burial vehicles, a top speed of 12 knots (22km/h) and an ability to install lines in water depths down to 3km.