The offshore energy sector is at a critical juncture with the rapid growth of investment in offshore wind, the decarbonisation of offshore oil and gas production as well as new regulatory constraints which limit use of conventional piling and anchoring solutions due to environmental impacts. Offshore wind is positioned to become a major sustainable energy in the Europe and globally, but its potential will be severely limited without cheaper and less environmentally disruptive approaches to anchors and foundations which can support increasingly larger turbines in more challenging seabed conditions. Sempre will develop micro piles for subsea anchoring use which will lower the cost, have huge environmental benefits, improve seabed access.
The project will include extensive research and testing to address key technical challenges in the development of a new robotic seabed drilling system for the installation, testing, and certification of marine anchors using micropile technology. Micropiling has grown to become a dominant foundation and anchoring solution for onshore infrastructure since the 1950s, as a proven low-noise and low-impact approach to soil interventions. Recent advances in underwater robotics now opens the door for low-cost micropiling to be used in the vast market for offshore piling and anchoring.