Osbit Delivers Swordfish Trencher to Jan De Nul

September 22, 2022

Osbit Delivers Swordfish Trencher to Jan De Nul
(Photo: Osbit)

UK-based offshore equipment supplier Osbit announced it has delivered a new subsea trenching vehicle to Luxembourg offshore and marine services company Jan De Nul.

The high-powered vehicle, named Swordfish, is a purpose-built cable burial tool for the protection of the subsea cables that will be used on current and future wind farm projects. Swordfish is powered by 1200kW of subsea electrical power, using a combination of direct drive and hydraulic distribution.

The vehicle can be quickly reconfigured into either jetting (high powered water fluidization of the seabed) or mechanical chain cutting modes to tackle a variety of soil conditions as found across planned windfarms and export routes. In jetting configuration, versatile jetting tools and highly controllable water power allow high progress rates through sands and weak clays. In cutting configuration, high hydraulic drive power is supplemented by water injection to facilitate spoil transport to the high powered eduction system, all working together to achieve consistent progress through challenging soils.

A team of specialist Osbit engineers completed the detailed design, manufacture, assembly, and test of Swordfish in just over a year. The machine was delivered out of the company’s assembly base at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland. Following its delivery, the trencher has been shipped to Belgium for mobilization and installation.

Neil Harrison, Director at Osbit said, “A problem the industry is currently facing is that all the easy sites for wind farm installation are filled, and now installation companies require specialist equipment like Swordfish to tackle more challenging soil conditions, in an economical and efficient manner. This new piece of equipment has excellent capabilities and can operate in a wide variety of ground conditions.”

Jan Van De Velde, Manager Newbuilding Department at Jan De Nul Group, said, “The Swordfish makes the perfect addition to our existing fleet of trenching vehicles protecting the cables installed by our cable installation vessels. Thanks to its high power, Swordfish can bury the cables deeper and at higher progress rates. And thanks to its innovative mechanical chain cutting configuration Swordfish can also tackle more challenging soil conditions, including hard clays up to 400 kPa. The delivery of the Swordfish complements our Cable Installation Vessels Connector and Isaac Newton, arming Jan De Nul Group for the energy transition of tomorrow. We look back at a fruitful cooperation with Osbit Ltd. (UK) in completing this industry leading solution for cable burial projects.”

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