Awel y Môr Proposed Wind Farm: Survey Update, July-August 2020

This is an update for mariners about the ongoing survey operations being carried out off the North Wales coast for the proposed Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. 

Survey work in the array area is underway and is due to continue into July.  Survey work on the export cable corridors  linking the proposed windfarm site to the shore is now due to start on 15th July 2020 and will continue for several weeks. A Notice to Mariners providing an update on this survey work has been issued, which is summarised below and can be downloaded here.

Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm

Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is a project being developed RWE and its partner companies to the west of the existing Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. It is located approximately 10.5km off the Welsh coast in the Irish Sea, with a maximum total area of 106km².  Information about the Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is available here.

Survey details

The survey work will comprise geophysical and environmental site investigations.  The survey vessels Fugro Mercator, Valkyrie, Mersey Guardian and Fugro Seeker will use acoustic and sonar survey methods to investigate the characteristics of the seabed within the proposed Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm array and along the export cable corridor. A map of the survey area and coordinates for its boundaries are provided in the Notice to Mariners which can be downloaded here.

Each vessel will be carrying out different tasks in different parts of the proposed new windfarm over different time periods, as follows:-

Dates

The proposed survey dates are given below for the different survey areas:-

  • Offshore array area: Fugro Mercator began the survey in this area on 15th June, and is due to take 5-6 weeks to complete the survey.  Mersey Guardian is due to start environmental investigations in this area on 21st July for 4-5 days.
  • Offshore export cable route: Fugro Mercator is due to start survey operations on the export cable route in waters deeper than 10m below LAT from 20th July for a period of 3-4 weeks.
  • Nearshore export cable route: Valkyrie is due to start survey operations in waters shallower than 10m below LAT on the 15th July for a period of approximately 10 weeks.  Fugro Seeker is due to start survey operations in this area on 20th July for 3-4 weeks.
  • Offshore and nearshore export cable routes – environmental investigations are due to be carried out by the Mersey Guardian from 15th August for 8-10 days.

Note that exact start and finish dates will be dependent on the prevailing weather conditions and progress of the survey work.

Vessel details

Details for the two survey vessels, including a link to their present locations, are given below:-

  • Fugro Mercator:  Survey vessel | Call Sign C6DU5 | MMSI 311000786 | IMO 9299977.
  • Fugro Seeker: Survey vessel | Call sign 2HCS2 | MMSI 235102539
  • Mersey Guardian: Survey vessel | Call sign 2FGL4 | MMSI 235091051
  • Valkyrie: Survey vessel | Call sign 2BWA9 | MMSI 235069806

Fugro Mercator will be operating out of the Port of Liverpool and will be carrying out survey operations on a 24-hour basis.

Valkyrie and Fugro Seeker will be operating out of Conwy; Mersey Guardian will be operating out of either Conwy or Liverpool.  These vessels will all be operating on a 12-hour basis.

All of the vessels will be towing or deploying survey equipment, will require large turning circles and will be restricted in the ability to manoeuvre. All vessels operating within this area are requested to

  • Keep their distance from the survey vessels;
  • Pass at a minimum speed to reduce vessel wash;
  • Maintain a 1,000m safety zone around the Fugro Mercator and Mersey Guardian; and
  • Maintain a 500m safety zone around the Fugro Seeker and Valkyrie.

The vessels will be displaying appropriate lights and shapes for the type of operations.  They will maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 16.  Further information about the survey vessel is provided in the Notice to Mariners which can be downloaded here.

Notices to Mariners

The Notices to Mariners that are currently issued for the Awel y Môr windfarm proposal are listed below.

  • Update on survey operations, July-August 2020: this is the notice summarised here.  It was issued on 9th July and advises of survey operations within the proposed windfarm array site and along one of the proposed export cable routes.  The notice can be downloaded here.
  • Update on survey operations, June-July 2020: this notice was issued on 26th June and advises of survey operations within the proposed windfarm array site and along one of the proposed export cable routes.  The notice can be downloaded here.
  • Survey operations: this notice was issued on the 9th June 2020.  It advises of the start of survey operations in the offshore array site.  The notice can be downloaded here.

Please contact Jim Andrews, Fishery Liaison Officer by e-mail or phone (+44(0)7908-225865) if you have any queries or concerns about this notice.

Posted in Awel y Mor Offshore Wind Farm, AWJ Updates, Fishery Liaison

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