FALMOUTH, UK — Tugdock, which develops marine buoyancy bag technology, has been invited to join the 2023 cohort of the UK’s National Launch Academy program run by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.
The technology accelerator program is designed to assist the UK’s offshore wind supply chain through advancing innovative solutions. Equinor is supporting the 2023 cohort, with a focus on solutions for the emerging floating offshore wind industry in the Celtic Sea off west Wales and southwest England.
Here, the target is to develop 4 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 and potentially 20 GW more by 2045.
Shane Carr, CEO of Tugdock, said, “The floating offshore wind sector is experiencing rapid growth … However, very few of the world’s ports have sufficient water depth and assembly quay space to build the huge turbine floaters required, whilst conventional dry docks are not wide enough, as they were originally designed for ships. Tugdock’s patented marine buoyancy bag technology…allows floating dry docks to be delivered by road in modular form and assembled at the port to dimensions far wider than most of the world’s existing dry docks.
“At many ports the large tidal range makes it difficult to load out the large turbine floaters from the quayside into the water. However, the Tugdock system only needs 5 m of water depth, and the speed of ‘air ballasting’...Allows the floaters to be quickly and efficiently launched in ports with high tidal range. This saves time and costs.”
Tugdock director Lucas Lowe-Houghton added, “We are also expecting the program to be a springboard for our further expansion into new overseas markets, including California in the US.”