Press release

Resumption of drilling work on the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm

Lézardrieux / Saint-Brieuc / Paris – July 15, 2021 –

Ailes Marines announces the return of the AEOLUS to the area from July 16, 2021, following the agreement of the maritime authorities. The Van Oord company's jack up vessel is responsible for drilling and installing the foundation piles for the offshore wind farm. After a complete review of the vessel's tools and equipment carried out by Van Oord in the Netherlands , all work control and monitoring protocols have been re-evaluated. Ailes Marines also announces the signing of an agreement with CEDRE.

15

July

21

Return of the AEOLUS ship to the work area

The jack up ship AEOLUS left the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on July 14. It will return to the installation area of ​​the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm from July 16. AEOLUS will resume drilling and installation operations for the jacket foundation piles. This work had been suspended since June 14 following an incident during the second series of drillings. The electronic safety system of the template serving as a guide for drilling had detected a sudden leak of biodegradable hydraulic fluid of the “PANOLIN HLP SYNTH” type, having a low impact on the environment. The work was then immediately suspended and Ailes Marines actively collaborated with the maritime authorities to manage the operations.

A complete and in-depth review of technical equipment

Following this incident, the AEOLUS returned to its home port in the Netherlands.
Van Oord's technical teams carried out a complete check of the ship and its tools. All tools, including the template, have been carefully checked. These reviews made it possible to make modifications to significantly improve their performance. The measures implemented were tested by Van Oord during two tests at the beginning of July, one on land and the other at sea, in the port of Rotterdam. These two tests were completely satisfactory.

Reinforced work control and monitoring measures

At the same time, Ailes Marines has decided to reassess upwards all environmental incident alert thresholds concerning drilling work.
The work control and monitoring protocols have also been reinforced, in particular by the permanent presence on site of the ship TSM Penzer, which will be equipped with additional anti-pollution means (SOPEP equipment). The deployment of this equipment was tested during specific exercises in the Netherlands and in Cherbourg, notably on July 13 in the presence of representatives from Ceppol (Centre of Practical Expertise in Antipollution Control, dependent on the Ministry of Defense). Other exercises will take place in the bay of Saint-Brieuc in the coming weeks.

The technical improvements made to the tools, the reinforcement of the protocols and the additional equipment are described in a file submitted by Ailes Marines to the State services on July 9. They guarantee optimal resumption of drilling work.

Signature of an agreement with CEDRE

Furthermore, Ailes Marines signed an agreement on June 21 with CEDRE (Center for documentation, research and experimentation on accidental water pollution). This convention governs the prevention aspects of the fight against pollution (reinforcement of procedures, planning, exercises). It also establishes close collaboration in the event of an intervention and provides for the training of the personnel involved.

PANOLIN lubricant, specially adapted to the marine environment

It is important to remember that the tools developed by Van Oord for drilling operations use hydraulic systems operating with a biodegradable fluid specially designed and developed for work at sea and produced by the PANOLIN company. This product – the subject of the leak on June 14 – is classified in the category of “easily biodegradable fluids” according to the international OECD 301 B criteria, with a very low impact on the environment.

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About Ailes Marines

Winner of a national call for projects with the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm project, AILES MARINES is in charge of the development, construction, installation and operation of the offshore wind farm. It is a simplified joint stock company (SAS), 100% owned by IBERDROLA.
The key figures of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind project:

  • 75 km2 of area
  • 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD 8 MW wind turbines
  • 496 MW of installed power
  • 1,820 GWh/year of production, i.e. the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (heating included)

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