Thanet offshore Wind Sub Station

Thanet offshore Wind Sub Station

CLIENT: VATTENFALL

PROGRAMME PERIOD: 2012 – 2015

Paint Inspection Ltd was contracted by Vattenfall in 2012 to undertake a full and detailed coating survey of the sub station, which is located approximately 20km off the Kent coastline.

The survey scope involved assessment and testing to the Jacket and Topside steel elements. The Jacket was difficult access and so rope access techniques was used to access the main supports legs and all the associated tubular steel sections down to the water line. The inspection and testing was comprehensive with a number of adhesion tests to the various elements along with examination of any defects identified. The underside of the lower/cellar deck was also accessed using ropes, this also gave the opportunity to examine the underside steelwork and stainless steel panels.

The topsides of the station were accessed by a mobile tower of the platform deck which was tied onto the main structure as it was moved around the lower and upper decks. The level of testing in the topside areas also involved adhesion and general inspection of the coating system and identification of any defects noted from the initial visual assessment.

A comprehensive report was submitted to the client after the site visits, which detailed the findings and testing data along with recommendations to address the defects to bring the sub station back in line with the 25year design life.

Moving forward into 2013, the actual onsite painting works were awarded to a local painting contractor who qualified to undertake to the works identified in the 2012 survey report.

Paint Inspection Ltd (PIL) was once again contracted by Vattenfall to provide full time inspections to ensure the works were completed in accordance with the survey scope and specification. PIL provide a full time ICorr level 3 Inspector to over see the works and carry out the inspection and testing in accordance with NORSOK M501 Edition 6, covering surface contamination for salts (chlorides) dust tests, blast standard, coating thickness and generally overseeing the application recording ambient readings etc.

Our Level 3 Inspector was IRATA qualified which allowed access to the Jacket areas whilst the works were on going. A report with the inspection and test data was completed on a daily basis and submitted to the client.

The works for the 2013 period were not totally completed as the weather hampered the programme at times so it was decided in the October to stop the work and return at a later date. The works are due to restart in the summer of 2015 which will see completion of some topside areas along with the internal cooler and transformer rooms.