Southampton-based naval architects, BMT Nigel Gee, foresees further growth in offshore wind markets in the coming year.
The BMT Group subsidiary provides design and engineering services in four key markets, among them renewable energy. Its investments in renewables are paying dividends and the company's order book into 2013 remains strong, according to John Bonafoux, managing director.
It has recently expanded operations on the back of growing demand for design work and recently launched the XSS, a 24m vessel aimed particularly at the longer transits market.
And its Turbine Access System (TAS) – an access gangway for transferring personnel from support vessels to turbines – is set for further development in the coming months.
"We’re looking at commercialising TAS in the first half of 2013," Ed Dudson, BMT Nigel Gee’s technical director told Windpower Offshore. He confirmed that the more exposed offshore wind farms in the Irish Sea and North Sea, as well as Germany, were the product’s primary markets.
The TAS platform does not connect to the turbine structure in any way and may be fitted to a variety of existing wind farm support vessels. Developed in partnership with Houlder, trials were successfully completed this autumn at RWE's 90MW Rhyl Flats wind farm off the north Wales coast. Wave heights exceeding 1.8m were encountered.
Further assessment is planned, as RWE, supported by the Carbon Trust, is keen to undertake additional trials.
Follow us @WPOffshore