Olsen takes stake in bucket foundation pioneer

DENMARK: First Olsen, engineering arm of Scandinavian shipping firm Fred Olsen, has taken a 60% stake in Universal Foundation, developer of the "bucket foundation" for offshore wind turbines.

Universal Foundation's remaining interests are held by Danish utility Dong Energy, Novasion and Aalborg University.

Its bucket foundation is aimed directly at the offshore-wind sector and aims to reduce foundation costs. It combines the benefits and proven aspects of a gravity base foundation, a monopole and a suction bucket into one product.

The design also includes an installation system which controls the vertical alignment of the total foundation as it sucks itself into the seabed.

This has the advantage of reducing the requirement for deploying jack-up vessels, seabed preparation or diver operations.

The need for piledriving at the foundation site is also eliminated, while the need for scour protection is also greatly reduced.

Soren Nielsen, chief technology officer at Universal Foundation commented: "We are proud to be in a position to offer a commercial solution to the market together with other Fred Olsen-related companies, which bring a heritage of relevant experience to the proposition."

Universal Foundation's bucket foundation is now entering full-scale production and supply to the offshore-wind market.

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