Offshore bomb guidance on way

A new initiative aims to draw up guidelines to help offshore wind developers deal with the hazards of unexploded ordnance (UXO) encountered during construction or cabling work.

The UK-based Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), working with consultancies Royal HaskoningDHV and 6 Alpha Associates, plans to issue guidance on coping with the various World War 2 bombs, mines and other threats lurking on the seabed.

The CIRIA project group said UXO will become a greater issue as construction of ambitious offshore wind pipelines gets into full swing in the UK and other European nations.

Simon Cooke, managing director of 6 Alpha Associates, said: “To date there has been insufficient clarity and awareness concerning a number of key issues related to the safe management of UXO risk on marine construction projects. 

“The offshore wind and wider marine construction sectors are in clear need of guidance about where legal responsibility lies for managing this long-term risk and how to do so in a cost effective and safe manner.”

The discovery of WW2 bombs recently forced work to halt on a section of RWE’s 576MW Gwynt y Mor wind farm in northwest England.

The presence of bombs and other munitions has proved a serious and costly obstacle at several major German offshore projects.