Vessel Traffic Surveys Underway for Buchan Offshore Wind Project
Specialist shipping and navigation consultancy, NASH Maritime, is currently undertaking vessel traffic surveys in the North Sea off the Aberdeenshire coast, northeast of Fraserburgh and in the outer Moray Firth.
The data collected by the surveys will be used to inform the navigation risk assessment being prepared by the company for the Buchan Offshore Wind project, which is being developed by Buchan Offshore Wind Limited, a joint venture between BayWa r.e., BW Ideol and Elicio.
Located 75km northeast off Fraserburgh with a capacity of around 1 GW, it is expected that the Buchan Offshore Wind project will put Scotland at the forefront of floating wind and bring significant benefits for Scotland’s supply chain.
To ensure the specialist risk analysts at NASH Maritime have an accurate understanding of how a proposed development area and its environs are currently used, the company undertakes vessel traffic surveys to validate other datasets including longer term AIS.
Brocque Preece, NASH Maritime Offshore Energy Business Lead, said: “We are delighted to be continuing support to the Buchan Offshore Wind project having provided support since the early stages of the Scotwind leasing. These surveys are a key phase in developing a baseline understanding of how the development area is used.
Later in the year, during winter, we will be doing further vessel activity surveys to ensure our data is seasonally representative.”
As well as using observers to log recreational and fishing vessel activity, the vessel traffic surveys collect radar track data and vessel transponder data (AIS).
Using its own, near real-time, upload and processing system to safeguard data fidelity and quality, NASH Maritime will subsequently analyze the post-processed data to develop a quantitative understanding of the area, used as a baseline to inform navigation risk assessment and facilitate stakeholder consultation.
NASH Maritime is providing specialist input to support design development of the project, as well as undertaking the navigation risk assessment associated with the EIA being led by Natural Power.