The cables have to be buried more than 5m in the seabed for the first 10km of the offshore cable route, as to be able to cross the busy Rotterdam Maasmond shipping lane as they leave the wind farm located 22km off the coast of the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland.
For this specific job, Van Oord designed and built the Deep Dig-It trencher, a gigantic and remotely controlled trencher.
Van Oord, being part of the Van Oord-Hellenic Cables consortium, is conducting final tests with this enormous machine in the Alexiahaven (harbour), in preparation for the actual installation of the sea cables in July.
The Deep Dig-It is a "Tracked Remotely Operated Vehicle" (TROV), which drives unmanned over the seabed, creating a deep trench for the cables, while simultaneously inserting the cables and then closing the trench again.
This new trencher is the largest and most powerful machine in its class, weighing 125,000kg and more than 17m long, well over 8m high, and 11m wide. It has an installed power of 2,500hp, making it possible to bury cables into very hard soils. Next to the large power installed, the depth of burial that can be achieved by the trencher is unmatched: well over 5m.
A lot of marine ingenuity has been put into the Deep Dig-It, with the development of this new trencher Van Oord responds to a changing offshore wind market and its latest demands. The Deep Dig-It will be controlled from Van Oord's offshore installation vessel MPI Adventure, which is equipped with a crane that launches and recovers the Deep Dig-It into the sea.
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