Sustainability

Deep Dig-it to do trial run

07 March 2020
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This month, a strange vehicle will be driving over the sea bed in the western port area on a trial basis. It is the Deep Dig-it, an unmanned trencher measuring 17 metres long and weighing 138,000 kilos. The tracks make the vehicle look like a tank.

Deep Dig-it will play an important role in the construction of the new offshore wind farm, Hollandse Kust (South). The electricity that the wind farm will generate first goes to a large offshore transformer station or rather the electronic power socket at sea. The current then flows through cables to the mainland where the cables are connected to the high-voltage network on the Maasvlakte.

The Deep Dig-it was designed by the English company Soil Machine Dynamics and the Dutch dredging company Van Oord. It must lay the cables between the Maasvlakte and the new offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (South) on the bottom of the North Sea. Because there is a lot of shipping in the area and the sea bed is unsettled, 10 of the total of 45 kilometres of cable are to be dug at a depth of 5 metres. Deep Dig-it is the only trencher capable of doing this.

According to Van Oord and client and electricity network manager Tennet, the ‘tank’ is ‘the largest and most powerful of its kind’. It will take about ten days for the Deep Dig-it to dig out the almost 45 kilometre-long cable. A total of four cables will run to the power socket at sea. Two of them this year and two next year. The work starts in July.