Find and fix teams deliver savings in wind market

21.04.2017

As the wind energy sector matures, and turbine and substation assets reach the end of their warranty periods, operators need to have the assurance that their asset maintenance regimes are cost effective. The delivery of safe maintenance operations and reduced OPEX is vital to ensuring the long term success of the sector.

Leading international industrial services provider Bilfinger is a leading player in the offshore renewables sector, having supported the construction and installation of some of Europe’s largest wind farms, including London Array, Thanet, Sandbank, and Horns Rev 2.

With expertise in the design, manufacture and installation of offshore foundations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, the company has been involved in the construction and installation of more than 630 foundations for wind turbines, metering masts and substations to date with clients such as Dong Energy, Vattenfall, Siemens and E.ON. 

Maintenance scopes are often condensed into summer campaigns, meaning a contractor’s planning, capacity and project management expertise are key. 

Bilfinger Salamis UK has over 40 years’ experience in delivering inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) services to the energy industry. With over 1,500 offshore operatives, the company delivers complex offshore inspection and maintenance projects across the UK, and in 2016 alone, the organisation delivered over 3.4million offshore man-hours safely. 

As one of the UK’s largest rope access employers, the business has capacity to deliver integrated inspection, cleaning, repair and maintenance, combining disciplines to provide clients with ‘find and fix’ teams that reduce the number of contractors, asset downtime, and the number of mobilisations to assets.

By combining blade, tower, transition piece and foundation inspection with coatings and structural repair services, these specialist rope access teams can drive down maintenance costs, adding in complimentary services such as specialist cleaning for marine growth removal, EX electrical inspections, and lifting and rigging. 

Anne Gourlay, development manager at Bilfinger Salamis UK said that the company’s extensive experience in supplying qualified multi-disciplined teams is ideally suited to the renewables industry.

“Now that the industry has beaten its own Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) target, this is a great time for operators to gain even more efficiencies by exploring new ways of working,” said Anne.

“At Bilfinger, our service offering is modular - we design the team to fit the field, its assets and their remaining life. What the field needs, we can deliver. 

“This delivery model offers potential for clients to reduce their long-term OPEX by engaging a contractor who has the proven capability and capacity to reduce IRM costs by up to 40%.”

As well campaign or field-based teams, Bilfinger can also deploy small, focused flying squads to deliver rapid response services throughout the UK and Europe. 

“It’s vital that any emergency repairs can be carried out on site, quickly and safely. Our qualified regional teams can be deployed in under 24 hours,” said Anne.

“Alongside our operations and maintenance services such as rigging, mechanical and electrical and instrumentation services, key offerings such as rope access, coatings, and composite repairs are a natural fit in the wind market.

“Clean energy is a key strategic area for Bilfinger, and we are using our experience offshore to deliver integrated services to help wind farm operators achieve their OPEX goals.

  • Find out more about our wind energy services here.