Belfast-headquartered Ridgeway secures deal with its first French offshore wind farm

Thursday, 9 June, 2022 - 17:30
Deployment of a patent protected 4T Filter Unit Rockbag on Saint Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm (pict. Ridgeway)
Deployment of a patent protected 4T Filter Unit Rockbag on Saint Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm (pict. Ridgeway)

Belfast-based Ridgeway, through its European distribution partners, has secured a contract with its first French client to use Kyowa Filter Units, known as Rockbags in the UK and Europe. Saint Nazaire is a 480MW offshore wind farm being developed in the Loire-Atlantique region of France and it is owned by Parc du Banc de Guérande. It will deploy the sustainable Rockbags for cable protection as part of a drive to support the gravity base foundation installation while also protecting and stabilising sections of the cable. Théo Pomet, Industrial Manager & Deputy Project Manager at Louis Dreyfus Travocean, responsible for installing the array cables, explains the importance of this control method: “The Rockbags are ideal for stabilising our cable. Having the rocks of this size in the bags it envelops the cable and CPS nicely without having to dump a huge number of rocks. The Rockbags together with the crane, beacon and ROV give us a precision stabilisation of the cable with a minimum of materials installed on the seabed.”

As of spring 2022, the wind turbines will be installed offshore and then gradually put into service. Once operational, the wind farm will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 700,000 people equal to 20% of the Loire-Atlantique department annual electricity consumption. The works, lasting more than three years, involve more than 1,200 direct employees in the Pays de la Loire region. The construction project is also contributing to create a national industry, providing jobs and new skills. Saint Nazaire Offshore Wind Project selected Rockbags as their preferred method for cable stabilisation and protection in 2021 which led to the appointment of Ridgeway as their preferred supplier. Ridgeway secured the business through its European distribution network following a successful cable protection track record in UK offshore wind. Welcoming news of the contract win, Stephen Kane, Managing Director of Ridgeway said: “This project will highlight Ridgeway Rockbags as a confirmed measure for cable protection for other potential offshore wind farm developments in French waters.  Given the various seabed substrates experienced for offshore wind farms in general, the industry needs new and innovative approaches like Rockbags for protecting subsea assets.

Rockbags are mainly used for protecting underwater cables and pipelines, as well as stabilising structures. A simple, versatile product constructed of a mesh bag filled with rocks, they are also a popular choice for preventing flood and bridge scour. They are eco-friendly, made from 100% recycled materials and boast a minimum lifespan of 50 years, as well as a quick and accurate installation process, with the added advantage of being easily removed if required. 

 The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm is jointly owned by EDF Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of the EDF Group, and EIH S.à r.l., a joint venture between Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (through its wholly owned subsidiary CPP Investment Board Europe S.à r.l.). With a capacity of 480 MW, it comprises 80 wind turbines located on the rocky plateau of the Banc de Guérande, more than 12 km off the coast of the Guérande peninsula.

Originally introduced into the UK and Europe in 2009, Ridgeway initially acquired the UK and Ireland distribution licence of the Patent protected “Kyowa Filter Unit” and the business has since won numerous high profile offshore energy contracts across the UK and Europe. The 2021 acquisition of the European licence represents a significant opportunity with an established network of dealers and strategic stock locations.


Ridgeway/ Sonya Cassiday

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