Sparrows Group Cable and Pipe Lay Solutions (CPLS) division more than doubled its business during 2018 thanks to an upsurge in activity in the renewables market.

This included the successful delivery of its largest renewables project to date as part of three contracts awarded through VBMS; DEME Offshore, formerly known as Tideway; and DeepOcean. The work scope saw Sparrows provide equipment and personnel to handle the nearshore, export and inter-array cables for the Hornsea One offshore wind farm (OWF).

Currently under construction the site, located 120km off the UK’s Yorkshire coast, is poised to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when fully operational in 2020. More than 170 turbines are expected to generate clean energy to fuel well over one million homes.

Working closely with VBMS, a specialist team of personnel installed and operated two 10Te cable tensioners and one 15Te tensioner to transfer three 245kV export cable from the vessel NDurance to the landfall location. Bespoke track pads were used to ensure cable clamping limits were maintained for the duration of the pull in activities and Sparrows provided sea fastenings packages for the equipment.

The company also supported DEME Offshore with the installation of the three export cables offshore to the Reactive Compensation Station (RCS) and onto the three substations using a 36Te 4-Track Tensioner. It is the longest AC offshore wind export cable system ever to have been installed.

The equipment was integrated into the Connector cable lay vessels’ lay spread system and used for spooling and laying activities for over 300km of cable. Data from the tensioners was logged and fed to the clients monitoring software by serial output throughout the project.

A further contract was awarded to Sparrows by DeepOcean to provide a Linear Cable Engine and operators on board the Edda Freya for the inter-array cable installations.

Ewen Kerr, chief technical officer, said, “We have experienced an upsurge in business from the renewable sector in the last 12 months and the combination of the three contracts won for Hornsea One, makes this our most significant cable lay project to date. One of the contracts marks the first time we have conducted nearshore cable transfer operations and this is a testament to our highly trained engineering teams who worked to develop the most effective solution for our client.”

In September last year, Sparrows was commended at the 2018 Press and Journal Gold Awards for successfully transferring more than 30 years’ oil and gas expertise to the renewables sector over the past two years.

Stewart Mitchell, chief executive officer at Sparrows, commented, “As a group we have made significant strides to diversify our business and gain increased market share in the renewable sector in the last year and our CPLS division is no exception to this. It’s fantastic to see the business continue to expand and support the growing offshore wind industry and we already have a strong pipeline of renewable work scheduled for 2019.”

Sparrows CPLS division supplies both rental and new-build cable and pipe lay equipment along with engineering and refurbishment/upgrade services.