A NORTH-EAST subsea trenching firm has launched a project to help shape plans for the UK offshore wind farm market.

IHC Engineering Business, which has a base at Port of Tyne, in South Shields, South Tyneside, is developing a Hi Traction vehicle, which it says will operate around turbine foundations and replace existing machinery designed for use in the oil and gas sectors.

The scheme will see IHC work with The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), in Blyth, Northumberland, in the £2.8m Renewable Energy Technology Accelerator programme.

Loading article content

Ralph Manchester, IHC chief trenching engineer, said the equipment could work both away from and towards turbine and substation foundations in seabed conditions that represented planned UK offshore wind sites.

He said: “The High Traction vehicle uses patented technology to improve manoeuvrability, traction and overall trenching ability.

“It has been developed to reduce the day to day issues facing operators.

“They have no option at the moment but to use technology designed and build for the oil and gas sector but that is not appropriate for the offshore wind farm sector.”