Dutch marine contractor IHC Merwede has unveiled a new subsea trencher developed for cable burial on shallow-water offshore wind farms.
The Hi-Traq, a remotely operated, four-tracked vehicle, is designed to take on assignments at sites with heavy wave loadings and strong currents, as well as a variety seabed soil conditions.
“Features such as the independent four-track undercarriage and a flexible tooling arrangement were engineered as integral parts of the design, and have remained the main focus of the project throughout," says IHC subsea vehicle team manager Chris Jones.
"A high level of manoeuvrability sets the Hi-Traq apart from the competition. The four-track undercarriage design enables it to climb slopes with gradients of up to 20 degrees."
The Hi-Traq has been trialled at IHC’s Port of Tyne facility on England's east coast, where a "special terrain" was created to mimic the North Sea seabed.
“The test programme has confirmed that the Hi-Traq trencher is capable of fulfilling all of our functional requirements,” adds Jones.