Geoquip Marine: Largest offshore wind project in the U.S

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Geoquip Marine (geotechnical engineering and drilling company) has secured a contract to work on the development of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va, USA.

The Geoquip Marine vessels deployed on this project are docked in Newport News, Virginia. and the CVOW project is being developed by Richmond-based Dominion Energy.

The project represents a series of firsts. It is the largest single offshore wind project in the U.S and is the first to be commissioned by a U.S. electric utility for connection to the power grid. For the first time since the founding of Geoquip Marine, this contract has demanded the simultaneous deployment of three of its DP2 vessels, the Geoquip Saentis, Geoquip Speer and the Dina Polaris. It is also the first deployment of the Geoquip Speer since it was recently acquired and comprehensively refitted.

The contract stipulates the drilling of deep boreholes and deep push seabed Cone Penetration Tests (CPTs) at multiple locations in the main lease area plus shallow push seabed CPTs and shallow boreholes at multiple locations along the export cable route.

“The project specifications include borehole depths, for some borings to 120m. There are very few specialist vessels available for the work, and we are proud that we are able to mobilise three of our drill ships to fulfil the project requirements,” Geoquip CEO Stewart Higginson explains.

Geoquip is responsible for all laboratory testing and final geotechnical reporting for the main lease area and along the export cable route.

The Geoquip Saentis is a highly capable geotechnical vessel designed for safe and efficient operations in harsh weather conditions. The vessel is currently configured to perform deep push seabed CPTs and has the dual capability to switch modes to perform deep boreholes with the heave compensated GMR600 drill rig, which is located over a 4m x 4m midship moon pool.

The Geoquip Speer is the company’s most recent addition to its fleet of geotechnical drill ships. It is ideally suited to safely completing large-scale offshore wind farm contracts, which have numerous borehole and deep push seabed CPT locations. This vessel is currently configured in drilling mode with the heave compensated GMR302 drill rig, which is suitable for drilling, coring, sampling and in situ testing in all soil conditions.

The Dina Polaris was built to minimise her working footprint on the environment. It is mobilised with Geoquip Marine’s designed and built GMTR120, which is suitable for drilling, coring, sampling and in situ testing at depths down to 2,500m.

All three vessels are fitted with an offshore soil laboratory, enabling Geoquip geotechnical engineers to conduct offshore soil classification and determine strength parameters for design, analysis and assessments in real time. The data allows engineers to prepare borehole logs onboard as the borehole progresses, allowing an optimisation of the actual borehole depth.

Sue Terpilowski
Author: Sue Terpilowski