DEME Offshore and Eiffage Métal successfully complete foundation installation ahead of schedule at France’s first offshore wind farm

Publication Date

DEME Offshore and Eiffage Métal completed the installation of 80 foundations at the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm in France. Industry-first technology has been deployed to install the foundations in solid rock and to enhance operational working time.

Installation of the foundations started in spring 2021. DEME and its partner Herrenknecht, the global leader in tunnel boring machines, jointly designed a 350-tonne Offshore Foundation Drill (OFD) to perform the drilling work for the XL monopiles. Other unique equipment deployed at Saint-Nazaire is the MODIGA. At nearly 60 m high, the MODIGA encapsulates the drilling and installation operations, protecting them from the adverse Atlantic marine conditions, which in turn enhances operational working time. The complete technological solution has been deployed from the offshore installation vessel ‘Innovation’.

DEME Offshore and Eiffage Métal have involved more than 200 companiesfrom Pays de Loire and France in the project, mainly small and medium enterprises, creating job opportunities and contributing to the development of the blue economy in France.

Bart De Poorter, General Manager DEME Offshore, says: “Deploying this world’s first equipment enabled us to complete the installation well ahead of schedule. Installation operations continued through the winter season, despite the combination of severe weather conditions and the harsh Atlantic ocean environment. At Saint-Nazaire, our teams and crew have not only gained substantial experience for the next offshore wind farm projects at the French coast, but also to successfully carry out installation works in similar challenging conditions across the globe.”

"Eiffage is very proud to be a key actor helping to build France's first offshore wind farm. Given the complexity of the works done which were first of a kind in many aspects, we are glad to prove that the planning milestones are met on time. This is the demonstration of our know-how and our ability to manage this type of project successfully" said Arnaud de Villepin, Managing Director of the Industry & Energy Division at Eiffage Métal. "The Group, which already has substantial operations on this market in Northern Europe, where Eiffage Métal, through its subsidiary Smulders, has a large number of wind farm project references off the coasts of Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, has now its first track record of its expertise in France. The members of the joint venture are delighted to have worked in full cooperation with the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm to complete this project safely and in accordance with its environmental features."

The Saint-Nazaire wind farm will have a total capacity of 480 MW or the equivalent of 20% of the French department Loire-Atlantique’s electricity needs. The wind farm is being developed by EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge and CPP Investments.