JIP Develops Guidelines for Assessing Subsea Cables Stability on Rocky Seabeds

A joint industry project (JIP), led by Wood, has developed a new set of industry guidelines related to submarine cables behavior on the marine environment and rocky seabed.

The new methodology, based on numerical models calibrated with laboratory tests performed in the wave and current basin of the Oceanide test facility in the South of France, provides advice on assessing subsea cables on-bottom stability on rocky and non-smooth seabed.

The parametric description of the physical mechanisms driving cables stability resulted in the implementation of an advanced methodology for on-bottom stability analysis with a significant gain in conservatism compared with previous standards, according to Wood.

The project, called CABILITY: Cable On-bottom Stability, gathered key industry players to produce new more appropriate set of guidelines as the ones currently in place were originally derived from the oil & gas industry and are more suited towards assessing the stability of pipelines.

Aside from Wood, other companies that participated in the project were EDF Energies Nouvelles, RTE, Naval Energies, VBMS, LDTravocean, Bardot Group, Silec Cable (General Cable) and DNV GL.

Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, said: “The CABILITY: Cable On-bottom Stability JIP has really demonstrated the importance of industry collaboration. Our findings have acknowledged that there were over-conservatism issues but by working together we have developed a new set of guidelines which will ultimately deliver significant improvement of costs for both OPEX and CAPEX.”

Submarine cables are required to connect renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, wave and tidal power projects with the grid. The new guide is expected to reduce the need for overly conservative designs with onerous recommendations, and the expensive stabilization systems, which could, in turn, jeopardize the financial viability of new projects, according to Wood.

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