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Axess bundles offshore wind cable installation services

Published 21 Feb 2023 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 3 min read

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At a glance

  • Offshore wind cable pull-in and termination & testing
  • Bundled services to decrease the number of contracts
  • Increases efficiency, lower costs, reduces liabilities in offshore wind

Axess provides safe, high-quality cable installation for offshore wind turbines. “We offer an all-new approach to service provision, bundling our cable services under a single contract for efficiency gains,” says Stian Guttormsen, Business Development Manager for Renewables.

When it comes to offshore wind farms, the towers and turbines grab our attention because that is what we can see. Equally important, however, is what we can’t see: power cables. Cables transmit power from the base of the tower to the transformer, then to the grid and on to the consumer.

“In cable installation, there has been too much focus on speed and too little focus on quality. A majority of wind farm insurance claims are related to subsea cables. This implies there is a waste of time, resources and capital,” says Guttormsen.

Creative contracts lower offshore wind costs

Axess conducts topside installation and integration of cables on wind turbines and substations. This includes cable pull-in operations and termination and testing, two key stages of the cable installation process.

The company bundles these services under one contract, which is an all-new approach for the offshore wind industry. While operators normally deal with multiple suppliers, Axess designates one contractor as the owner of the topside part of subsea cable installation.

“With fewer contractual interfaces, we increase efficiency in cable installation for both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind turbines. This reduces capital expenditures and the project’s overall risk,” explains Guttormsen.

In addition, unlike most other players, Axess designs and constructs its own cable pull-in systems. This allows the company to better address the specific requirements of each operation. The systems range from 8 to 30 metric tons and are offered in both rental and purchase options.

Axess mitigates cable risks in offshore wind

Cable pull-in operations involve risk of cable damage, but Axess has developed solutions to manage these risks and ensure that cables are installed on time. This lowers operating costs and capital expenditures, while greater cost predictability encourages new investments in wind energy.

Since Axess handles all cable pull-in and termination and testing, cable-laying vessel (CLV) operators can focus on their main responsibility: vessel operations. Such task delineation optimises the cable installation process and lowers overall costs.

Moreover, optimisation goes hand-in-hand with sustainability. In particular, less vessel time results in fewer emissions, and less cable breakage reduces material waste.

Six-fold market growth expected

The market for wind farm cables is projected to grow six-fold over the course of the decade. By 2030, 63 200 km of inter-array cables and 40 000 km of export cables are expected to be installed globally.

“This market will grow at the same pace as the growth in added capacity of offshore wind,” states Guttormsen.

Axess has already achieved notable success in this market by building and operating the cable pull-in system for Hywind Tampen, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, developed by the international energy company Equinor.

Axess’s target market includes inter-array contractors, cable manufacturers and export cable contractors in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the US. The company has a presence in all global wind markets, with offices in Aberdeen, UK; Boston, and Houston, USA; Busan, South Korea; Norway; and Taiwan.

Stian Guttormsen

Business Development Manager, Renewables

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