Houlder Supports Firm Developing Micropiling Tech for Offshore Wind

Credit: Subsea Micropiles
Credit: Subsea Micropiles

Design and engineering consultancy Houlder said Tuesday it was supporting Subsea Micropiles, a company adapting land-based micropiling technology to create superior marine foundation and anchor solutions.

Houlder is providing marine operations and engineering support to speed up market development and the deployment of Subsea Micropiles’ technology.
"Innovative foundation technology is essential to reducing costs and environmental impact as the offshore wind industry expands and tackles increasingly difficult seabed conditions," Houlder said.

Subsea Micropiles will use a new robotic seabed drilling system to install and grout micropile anchor foundations. Mimicking the root piles of trees, the design is capable of withstanding significant axial and horizontal loads with a stable and consistent connection point, Houlder added.

Micropiling has grown to become a widely used foundation and anchoring solution for onshore infrastructure since the 1950s, as a proven low-noise and low-impact approach to soil interventions.

Advances in underwater robotics are enabling micropiling for offshore piling and anchoring, which has the potential to disrupt the renewable energy industry and benefit the wider offshore sector, reads a press release issued Tuesday.

Mark Williamson, Energy Transition & Marine Operations Director, Houlder, said: “At Houlder we believe in supporting organizations with new technologies that have the potential to play an essential role in the development of offshore fixed and floating wind. This particular project is a game-changer – everyone is excited about this technology! Subsea Micropiles can provide a single connection point on even the most complex of sea beds, even if the field profile changes considerably across many miles."

“It is a really exciting time to be working in this rapidly expanding market and we are proud to be supporting innovative technology which has the potential to accelerate progress. From consultancy to engineering and design, and then implementation, we are providing tangible support for organizations with answers to the questions posed by the offshore floating wind industry.”

Derek Robertson, CEO, Subsea Micropiles, commented: “Offshore wind is fundamental to achieving global emissions reductions targets and, today, we’re overly reliant on legacy solutions from oil and gas. Moving forward, we have to embrace new, more sustainable approaches, which we believe demands the introduction of a more biomimicry approach to soil interventions - the way the trees intervene in the soil with their root pile structures. As a young company with a bold vision and potentially game-changing technology, we recognized the need for quality partners and the depth and breadth of expertise that Houlder offers helps enable us to bring our offering to the marketplace.”

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