22 June 2017

Rampion to recover digger from Lancing Beach

The elevated excavator, which has been immobilised off Lancing Beach, will be recovered in the next week, subject to weather conditions.

The digger had finished backfilling cable duct trenches dug along the seabed when it became immobilised in early April. A land-based recovery was considered however, as the digger was embedded in the seabed, a sea-based recovery using a specialist vessel is required. The Cormorant, a floating sheerleg crane vessel, fitted with two 300 tonnes cranes, will be working on site to recover the digger.

Chris Tomlinson, Development and Stakeholder Manager for the project, said, “We want to thank people for bearing with us over the last couple of months while we’ve planned the vehicle recovery and we also welcome the interest the local community has continued to show in the project.

“On planning the recovery, for operational and safety purposes, further seabed preparation including surveys and assessments have been required to bring a suitable vessel to the nearshore site, all of which takes time.

“As always, safety remains our highest priority and with this being a relatively near shore operation, we ask people to stay clear and not to enter the water whilst the recovery takes place, and that any commercial and recreational vessels and pleasure crafts keep a minimum distance of 250m from the recovery vessel at all times.”

The recovery operation is expected to take around two days to complete due to the care and precision required.

Following the initial incident, the diesel on-board (used to power the engine) was removed from the tank and vessels have continued to guard the site. Throughout the planning of the operation, the Rampion team has continued to liaise with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, the Marine Management Organisation and the Environment Agency regarding plans for a marine based recovery.

The 400MW Rampion project is being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge. Turbine installation began in March 2017 and 43 of the 116 turbines are installed to date. When complete it will provide enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes (1) a year, equivalent to around half the homes in Sussex.

Notes to editors
1= Based on an average annual domestic household electricity consumption of 3,938 kWh (BEIS).

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