Strategic risk advisor 6 Alpha Associates is teaming up with partner engineering consultancy company Atkins to provide unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk assessment before construction starts on three UK offshore wind farms.

The UK companies will work together ahead of the geotechnical surveys before building begins at the Galloper, Rampion and Triton Knoll wind farms off the south-east coast of England.

The partnership aims to identify cost savings throughout the project by delivering UXO risk management services from ground investigations at turbine locations and along export cable routes and by conducting research to show the level of risk at an early stage.

Once UXO risks are confirmed as low after analysis of the geophysical surveys, 6 Alpha award safety sign off certificates to confirm that the UXO risk has been reduced to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’. This then allows geotechnical vessels to carry out exploratory boreholes.

The sign off certificates give confirmation that a turbine site can be safely installed.

6 Alpha Associates managing director Simon Cooke said: “The future of offshore wind development depends on the ability of the industry to learn from previous projects.  It’s why we’re becoming involved significantly earlier in the development timeline.

“By working with Atkins during the preliminary stages of offshore wind construction, we can ensure that the possibility of extensive and costly delays related to the discovery of UXO on site at a later date, is avoided.”

Atkins chief engineer Giorgio Maderni said: “Through our partnership with 6 Alpha we can offer our clients an integrated design and investigation team which can minimise risks in a highly cost effective manner for offshore wind developers.

 Image: Rampion (Volkerwessels)