AIP RINGS POSITIVE BELLS FOR PENDULUM
Years of experience in a variety of roles for some of the energy industry’s biggest names have made Thierry Delahaye the perfect person to spearhead Saipem’s research and development activities for new technologies in renewable energy.
Building on the company’s expertise in EPCI for fixed and floating offshore wind, Thierry is currently working hard to get its innovative pendulum floater technology on the road to commercialization.
“Over the last decade, following extensive research and development as well as studies of our fixed wind activities, Saipem has become aware of a need for new floating solutions. Seeking to address that, we quickly realized we would need to develop our own new floater technology since existing solutions did not fulfill our requirements. We wanted solutions that could be rapidly available for commercial farms across the world. The technology had to offer the best possible stability-to-cost ratio and was developed with the specific aim of reducing leveraged cost of energy. We really started with a blank page.”
As work progressed on Saipem’s pendulum floater, so named because of the floater’s stabilizing pendulum motion, the company turned to Bureau Veritas for Approval in Principle (AiP) of their brand new technology.
“Gaining Bureau Veritas’ AiP is the first step towards certification of new technology. The process allowed us to verify that design assumptions corresponded to the market’s needs. It also enabled us to conduct a complete design review, getting feedback from experts in several disciplines. Even at the earliest stages, it’s crucial to show clients that we have already taken the first steps towards certification. It reassures them and anticipates what often becomes a contractual obligation further down the road.”
When choosing to begin the certification journey with AiP from Bureau Veritas, Saipem were swayed by the company’s experience with floating wind projects.
“Bureau Veritas has a worldwide network and so offers clients a certain proximity. Their experts were in touch with our needs, and work delivered was of the highest quality. However, what really made a difference was Bureau Veritas’ long history of work with floating turbines. They have a wealth of knowledge – including existing technical guidelines - having worked on other projects. We were keen to leverage that expertise and savoir-faire. We did not regret our decision. We learned a lot from Bureau Veritas, and I like to think they learned from us too!”
Photo Credit: SAIPEM - O. Diaz