Van Oord’s new trencher, the Dig-It, has expanded the company’s cable laying and burial capabilities. This remote-controlled trench jetting and cutting system means that Van Oord can offer its clients in offshore wind construction a complete service package. Van Oord used the Dig-It for the first time this week on the Borkum Riffgrund 2 project in the German sector of the North Sea.

The Dig-It, also known as the Q Trencher 1600, is the most powerful of the ‘Q’ trencher series and a vast improvement over earlier models, with a total installed power of 1,200 kW. After a cable has been laid on the seabed, Van Oord’s Dig-It will bury it to required depth. Depending on the configuration and soil characteristics, the trencher can bury cables down to 3 meters depth. The Dig-It is a Tracked Remotely Operated Vehicle (TROV), with its tracks as its primary method of propulsion. The trencher can be operated in two different modes, jetting and chain cutting.

dig it

In 2016, Ørsted contracted Van Oord to transport, install and bury infield cables for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm. Van Oord has deployed its dedicated cable-laying vessel Nexus to install the infield cables, including interlink cables to the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Substation.

Nexus started cable installation on 15 April, while the Dig-It, mobilized on the offshore supply vessel Rem Saltire, started burying the cables this week. The cable installation works should be finished in July 2018. Once it is completed in 2019, the offshore wind farm will deliver green energy to 460,000 households. The offshore wind farm is located 54 kilometers off the coast of Lower Saxony, Germany.