Axess provides a package of integrated inspection and maintenance services to the offshore wind industry. “We bundle our services, which can turn 100 different supplier contracts into just one. Our all-new approach increases efficiency in balance of plant systems,” says Stian Guttormsen, Business Development Manager for Renewables at Axess.
Efficiency may be the Holy Grail of the offshore wind industry. Wind farm operators are on a never-ending quest to increase efficiency, which is a precondition for industry growth.
“There is a desperate need to increase capacity in offshore wind power. This cannot happen without major efficiency gains,” says Guttormsen.
“We tailor our BoP service package to our client’s operations and maintenance (O&M) programme, as well as to wind turbine vessel (WTV) service suppliers and the service operation vessel (SOV) sailing schedule. This maximises operational synergies,” says Guttormsen.
Axess uses its software solution, Bridge, as part of the inspection process. This ensures that inspections are conducted efficiently and in accordance with an inspection protocol. The high-quality inspection data is suitable for analysis across assets and over time.
The system also helps wind farm operators to manage equipment compliance vis-à-vis statutory authorities and other stakeholders.
Axess introduces contractual efficiency into services procurement. By reducing the number of contracts with individual suppliers, wind farms can reduce their operating costs and protect against excessive liabilities.
“We need contractual creativity in the offshore wind industry. In other sectors, we have been able to consolidate 100 different service contracts into one global, standardised package. We can achieve the same efficiency in offshore wind,” says Guttormsen.
Axess’s innovative approach reduces vessel time and personnel transfers, and thus emissions. Inspection quality is high, as the company uses skilled and multiskilled workers to perform the work.
Moreover, Axess improves integrity asset management, increasing the life expectancy of renewable energy assets. This is becoming increasingly important as wind farms enter late life.
“Today the average age of a wind turbine is eight to nine years. At the 20-year mark, operators must face the consequences of their maintenance decisions over the years. Can the wind turbines be extended beyond 20 years or must they be decommissioned?” Guttormsen explains.
The global wind turbine operations and maintenance market is projected to reach USD 53.6 billion in by 2030, more than double its current value.
“We expect that inspection and maintenance costs will grow more than the total added capacity due to an ageing fleet of offshore assets. When the wave of assets reach a late life stage, the complexity and scale of maintenance will increase,” says Guttormsen.
Axess’s target market is wind farm operators, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the US. The company already has a presence in all global wind markets, with offices in Aberdeen, UK; Boston and Houston, USA; Busan, South Korea; Norway; and Taiwan.