Dolwin Substation Ballasting

TME, in collaboration with Boskalis, has developed a system designed for solid ballasting of a substation, aiming to enhance stability during severe North Sea storms. The ballast material, initially dry during transportation, undergoes a mixing process with water on the Rockpiper. This water and rock mixture is then hydraulically pumped into the platform pontoon and column tanks using TME's purpose-built solid ballast equipment onboard the Rockpiper.

The TME solid ballast system comprises ballast pumps, a transport system constructed through the fallpipe tower, and an innovative fluidization system.

The fluidized ballast material is pumped through a hose system to the substation. To maintain a safe distance between the Rockpiper and the substation, approximately 70 meters of floating hose is utilized. The connection between the hoses is facilitated by a smart hose coupling system, ensuring a safe and fast installation of the hose sections between the Rockpiper and the substation.

The entire system underwent thorough testing before being installed on the Rockpiper, and the installation process was completed within a few weeks. This systematic approach ensures the reliability and functionality of the solid ballast system in challenging marine conditions.


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