Share this page:

Monopile grippers for foundation installation 

Design and build of two capable systems to help install some of the largest diameter offshore wind turbines to date, while minimising environmental impact.

Osbit was approached by two customers to support their installation activities in the rapidly growing Taiwan offshore wind market. The customers sought to enable the production of 2.4 terawatt hours of renewable energy per year, supplying enough electricity to meet the power needs of 605,000 households annually.

Osbit was to develop innovative systems to enable the safe and effective installation of a range of wind turbine monopiles, and which would be capable of safely and effectively handling the biggest monopiles to be produced to date.

To reach these goals, our team worked very collaboratively with each customer to fully understand their project needs and we successfully developed designs to achieve the required objectives.

Without prior design consideration, piling operations could disturb local marine wildlife.

Osbit’s monopile gripper system was designed to be environmentally considerate, incorporating an integrated Near Pile Noise Mitigation system, which minimises the subsea noise and vibration associated with piling activities. This is complemented by bubble curtain rings which are deployed to dampen the energy emitted into the environment and further protect marine life.

Both monopile grippers are also highly adaptable for future projects, accommodating monopiles between 6.5 to 10 metres in diameter, with push forces up to 300 tonnes. This, combined with their ability to be adapted to suit different vessel structures, means one system can carry out multiple contracts, removing the need for a new gripper to be produced each time.

Given that the customer’s project work was taking place in Taiwan, while Osbit designed both systems from its UK headquarters in North East England, the business utilised the skills of a South East Asian-based fabrication partner to produce the gripper system closer to where it was commencing work. 

An on-site team of Osbit engineers worked very closely and collaboratively with its local supply chain to deliver the system. Following the success of this approach, Osbit has now replicated the process in multiple locations around the world to suit its customers’ differing needs.

The successful delivery of Osbit’s second monopile gripper required overcoming various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had substantial effects on operations and the global engineering supply chain.

Through carefully considered processes and a hands-on, collaborative management approach with supply chain partners, Osbit was able to complete this project safely. These aspects also supported the company in delivering on time for its customers, when they really needed it, and in the most challenging of project circumstances.