Hallin Marine returns to munitions clearance duty in North SeaProjects and Operations // December 13, 2012
Hallin Marine has deployed two Quasar 125hp work-class ROVs and personnel to locate and remove unexploded World War 2 bombs from the German Sector of the North Sea.
Hallin has experience of doing several such projects safely and without incident in the past, in locations ranging from the Philippines to Europe.
"This current project is being performed in partnership with a German offshore construction support contractor," said Hallin West managing director Giovanni Corbetta.
"It is a continuation of similar work which we carried out over a three-week period in June 2011. This second phase was initially expected to last for about 110 days but the importance of the work has resulted in the contract being extended to 11 months.
"The site being cleared is part of the new OWP Riffgat offshore wind turbine facility. We have equipped the Quasars with a Teledyne TSS-440 pulse induction system which allows long-range detection of buried subsea targets.
"Although designed to sense buried pipelines or cables, the TSS-440 has proved highly effective for locating munitions buried in the seabed. We have also provided a zip jet pump to assist in the retrieval of suspected explosive devices.
"We have been operating the Quasar ROVs from Coastal Challenger and Zwerver III shallow draft support vessels. Searching for and clearing potentially explosive ordnance is inherently hazardous so the use of an unmanned remotely-controlled vehicle greatly reduces any risk of human injury, particularly when working in conditions of poor visibility caused by strong currents stirring the sea bed.
"I am pleased to report no unexpected detonations so far, nor have we lost or damaged an ROV. The project includes identification of selected targets and anomalies as well as assisting with recovery of ordnance where deemed safe to transport."
OWP Riffgat is located 15km northwest of the island of Borkum. When completed, it will consist of 30 turbines located across an area of 6km2. These will be capable of generating a total of up to 108 megawatts of energy, sufficient for 112,000 households, at an investment cost of around 480 million Euros. Construction is expected to be completed in 2013.