French fishing vessels have once again surrounded a construction vessel working at Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm site in France.
Protesting against the project, around 30 fishing vessels have cornered and are circling Assodivers’ construction support vessel Aethra which has been clearing boulders and performing pre-cutting trenches ahead of array cable installation at the site. A French warship arrived on site in order to manage the situation.
Just last month a similar demonstration took place with the Van Oord’s jack-up vessel Aeolus. At the time, the Aeolus had been on site carrying out foundation installation works.
Aeolus has since left the bay of Saint-Brieuc for its home port in the Netherlands (Vlissingen) following a technical difficulties during drilling which lead to the leak of hydraulic fluid into the sea. The incident resulted in the release of “PANOLIN HLP SYNTH ” hydraulic fluid, for 48 hours after the incident. It is estimated that 170 litres leaked into the water. PANOLIN is classified in the category of “readily biodegradable fluids”, according to the criteria international standards 301B, with low environmental impact. Consequently, Ailes Marines and Van Oord have decided to temporarily stop the drilling work to focus on the analysis and improvement of the tools for the continuation of drilling works in an optimal way.
The 496 MW Saint-Brieuc wind farm, 16 km off the French coast, will feature 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD turbines, standing at 207 metres high. It is being developed by Ailes Marines, subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. Covering an area of 75km2 the project will be the first large-scale offshore wind farm in Brittany and, when operational in 2023, it will be capable of generating 1,820 GWh/year of electricity, expected to meet the demands of 835,000 people.
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