Offshore risk management firm 6 Alpha Associates is to help TenneT reduce the risks associated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) as the Dutch grid company works on planned offshore grid connections.

6 Alpha has signed a ten-year deal with TenneT under which it will provide complex survey and risk management advice for UXO in the marine environment.

TenneT is planning to develop around 30 new offshore grid connections in the next decade and says that managing UXO risk has become a vital part of their offshore projects.

"Having worked with 6 Alpha Associates on a number of projects over the past 18 months, we have clearly seen the value added by the firm to our operations – not only in terms of project safety but also in terms of de-risking our project schedules and generating Principal Contractor confidence," said Martin Petzold, project manager for offshore cable installation, TenneT.

The agreement will not only see 6 Alpha assess UXO risks for all of TenneT’s on-going cable installation projects but the company will also develop pragmatic risk mitigation measures including designing UXO specific geophysical survey along key cable transmission routes and ensuring that they are accompanied by UXO sign-off certificates, warranting that prospective risks have been reduced to As Low As Reasonable Practicable (ALARP).

"The costs of dealing with UXO can escalate rapidly, as we’ve already seen on some early-stage UK and European projects"

"We’re regularly reminded, during the course of offshore wind construction, of the sheer size and scale of the UXO challenge," said Simon Cooke, Managing Director, 6 Alpha Associates. "Indeed, if this is not managed correctly, the costs of dealing with UXO can escalate rapidly, as we’ve already seen on some early-stage UK and European projects.

"Retaining the right expertise at the early stage of a project, ensures that the risk can be reduced ALARP – thereby bringing down the potential for costly delays later in the project.

"Not only does this help manage and ultimately, reduce, costs for the industry, it also ensures that developers and grid operators are operating well within their health and safety legal requirements."

6 Alpha Associates has provided specialist risk consultancy services for 75 per cent of the UK’s Round 3 offshore wind projects, four of five French offshore renewable energy projects and a number of further developments in Dutch and German waters.