The Grampian-based Fletcher Group – which has operated N. Sea platform supply boats for the past 20 years – is diversifying into the offshore wind market to also provide subs-sea ROV and boulder-clearance services.
The diversification process sees Colin Millum, (who designed and manufactured leading ROVs and propulsion systems during his reign at Sub-Atlantic), brought in to head up the technical team, amongst other new recruits.
Fletcher provides a one-stop-shop service for sea-bed preparation. For example, working for a major power company on a wind turbine project in the English Channel recently, they successfully cleared 9,000 boulders from the cable path in a very short time frame.
The company also aims to provide a more cost-effective service to the industry by using its own low-cost dynamically positioned platform supply vessels rather than expensive diver/ROV vessels.
In addition, the company has created its own ROV – The Zodiac TT, which does a number of tasks including surveying the sea bed, clearing it and then protecting the cables which have been laid. This method is also environmentally friendly compared to other dredging methods.
Keith Fletcher, Managing Director, said “The novel method of combining our own dynamically positioned supply vessel with our own technology for sea bed preparation offers the industry much needed efficiencies and genuine cost reduction.”
Mike Porter, Fletcher Operations Director, added: “We will be employing people traditionally working in oil and gas, giving them an opportunity to transfer to renewables.
“Renewables is an exciting new part of Aberdeen and the UK’s future as an energy hub. We are building the UK’s ability to service windfarm contracts across offshore Europe.”