DEME Offshore has signed an agreement with Herrenknecht for the fabrication of a subsea drill to install XL-monopile at the 480MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm in France.

Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm will be the first to use drilled XL-monopile foundations.

For installing XL-monopile foundations on a rocky seabed, DEME Offshore and Herrenknecht will produce a tailor-made subsea drill.

DEME Offshore general manager Bart De Poorter said: “Installing drilled XL-monopiles is a new step forward in the offshore wind industry.

“With this innovative solution developed in partnership with Herrenknecht, we ensure that the installation is performed safely and efficiently in challenging marine conditions.”

Located between 12km and 20km off the coast of the Guerande peninsula in western France, Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm will generate sufficient clean energy to meet 20% of the Loire-Atlantique department‘s electricity requirements.

EDF Renewables and Enbridge is the owner of the wind farm.

Herrenknecht Board of Management member Ulrich Schaffhauser said: “The Offshore Foundation Drilling (OFD) enables mechanised installation of monopiles, thus providing ecological and economic advantages compared to conventional methods.

“We are proud that DEME relies on Herrenknecht’s solution, expertise and know-how in the field of excavation technology. The project teams of DEME and Herrenknecht cooperated very well, now we all are looking forward to project realisation.”

In August 2019, a joint venture (JV) of DEME and Eiffage Métal won an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract worth over €500m for the foundations for the Saint-Nazaire wind farm.

The JV will design, fabricate and install 80 steel foundations.