“MMX worked closely with the IV-One projects team to support the topside communications on the Sofia HVDC platform from design through to SAT. The co-operation and professionalism demonstrated by MMX ensured we delivered the project on time, in the budget, while exceeding all our expectations. We certainly have the confidence to work with MMX on future projects.” Melanie Emmerig, Expeditor/Inspector at IV One.
The 1.4 gigawatt Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is a UK offshore wind farm sited on the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank. Sofia will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world as well as one of the furthest from shore.
The Sofia project is being developed 195 km off the UK’s North East coast on a site of 593 km2. The grid connection point (Interface Point) is at an existing National Grid substation in Lackenby.
It will have a single offshore converter platform, with the electricity generated transported from there, via a high voltage direct current export cable, to landfall 220 km away in Redcar, Teesside.
A key requirement for any offshore wind farm is to provide resilient real-time telecommunications for both voice and data. This applies to the offshore facility and offshore to onshore.
To meet this need, the following offshore converter platform services were put out to tender. System design, supply, test, install and commission:
- PAGA (public address general alarm)
- Microwave line of sight
- VSAT (satellite)
- VHF/UHF marine & aeronautical
In 2020, MMX was awarded the contract to support the topside communications on the Sofia HVDC platform from design through to SAT. Working in close partnership with our long term client, IV-One, based in the Netherlands.
Upon award, MMX put in place a project and engineering team to deliver the required systems. Each system requirement was assigned to an MMX project engineer working under the direction of the project manager.
The project had specific timelines due to the telecoms package having to fit in with the HVDC (high-voltage direct current) offshore converter platform build. The build is being managed by Sembcorp Marine and SMOP is constructing the platform on the Indonesian island of Batam, just off the coast of Singapore.
MMX’s project management team worked closely with the IV-One project team to finalise the design requirements to complete both the HLD (high level design) and LLD (low level design) prior to moving into the procurement and build phase.
Based on the Sofia technical requirements, MMX undertook a market evaluation of potential equipment suppliers.
This resulted in the following system manufacturer selection:
- NEC for the Microwave radio
- Zenitel for the PAGA
- For the VSAT, the Cobham Sailor tracking antenna system was selected along with modem from Idirect and space segment from Eutelsat
When all the procurement had been carried out, MMX then completed a period of equipment configuration and test before undertaking a customer-witnessed FAT (factory acceptance test) of all the systems at its UK facility in Birmingham.
Once signed off, MMX then shipped all equipment to site in order to complete I&C activities and SAT (site acceptance testing).
To learn more about this exciting project or to find out how we can help with your requirements, please get in touch.