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Belfast firm wins first French order

Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm will be the first French client to use Kyowa Filter Units, also known as Rockbags.

The Ridgeway Rockbags will be used for cable stabilisation and protection at the 480MW offshore wind farm being developed in the Loire-Atlantique region of France. The development is owned by Parc du Banc de Guérande.

The Rockbags will be used for cable protection as part of a drive to support the gravity base foundation installation while also protecting and stabilising sections of the cable.

“The Rockbags are ideal for stabilising our cable,” said Théo Pomet, industrial manager & deputy project manager at Louis Dreyfus Travocean, responsible for installing the cables. “Having the rocks of this size in the bags it envelops the cable and CPS nicely without having to dump a huge number of rocks. The Rockbags together with the crane, beacon and ROV give us a precision stabilisation of the cable with a minimum of materials installed on the seabed.”

Once operational, the wind farm will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 700,000 people equal to 20% of the Loire-Atlantique department annual electricity consumptio

Stephen Kane, managing director of Ridgeway said: “This project will highlight Ridgeway Rockbags as a confirmed measure for cable protection for other potential offshore wind farm developments in French waters.  Given the various seabed substrates experienced for offshore wind farms in general, the industry needs new and innovative approaches like Rockbags for protecting subsea assets.

“Throughout 2022, our 4Te Rockbags are being used to stabilise and protect the array cables linking the turbines and the CPS protection systems stabilising the cables coming out of the base of the turbines.

“Originally introduced into the UK and Europe in 2009, Ridgeway initially acquired the UK and Ireland distribution licence of the Patent protected ‘Kyowa Filter Unit’ and the business has since won numerous high profile offshore energy contracts across the UK and Europe.

“The 2021 acquisition of the European licence represents a significant opportunity with an established network of dealers and strategic stock locations. This latest partnership with the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm aligns with our vision to grow our footprint globally over the next decade.”

Rockbags are mainly used for protecting underwater cables and pipelines, as well as stabilising structures. The product is made up of a mesh bag filled with rocks and can also be used for preventing flood and bridge scour. They are made from 100% recycled materials and Ridgeway said that they have a minimum lifespan of 50 years.

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