The business strategy of Tekmar Energy, a market-leading subsea cable protection specialist company in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is a metaphor for its own products. A bespoke solution for a niche market, delivered effectively with engineering and technical expertise.
Tekmar designs, manufactures and supplies a cleverly-engineered range of subsea cables, umbilicals and flexible protection systems, focusing on the global oil & gas and offshore wind markets, with demand for its services continuing to grow. The company is developing applications that deliver major added-value for clients through providing significant savings in installation and over the products’ lifetime.
Subsea cables work in punishing conditions and require rigorous testing, and so Tekmar goes above and beyond what is required to ensure robust product development. This includes live demonstrations of its technology at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s world-class research facilities in Blyth which helps the business to accelerate testing and prove its products for market.
This collaboration also enables Tekmar to showcase its cable protection systems (CPS), installation techniques and engineering developments to clients at the facility, which has supported the company in winning significant subsea cabling contracts from offshore wind farm developers.
Among Tekmar’s innovative systems are TekTube® which was launched last year and was specifically designed as a solution for future projects to continue to help drive down cost, improve offshore installation rates and ensure cable integrity for the service life (typically 25 years).
TekTube has been developed utilising the same protection methodology as the market-leading, proven industry standard TekLink® system, which has revolutionised the connection and protection of subsea power cables into foundations over their service life.
The company’s range also includes products that protect cables and umbilicals from loads and deformations during installation and over a wind farm’s lifespan, which can be 25 years or more.
ORE Catapult’s facilities, including three large drydocks and a simulated seabed, enabled Tekmar to conduct five weeks of product testing, demonstration trials, and testing of installation techniques on the company’s TekLink cable protection and TekTube J-tube replacement systems.
Wet trials completed in a flooded dock at the Catapult were essential to demonstrate Tekmar’s cable protection technology to a range of end-clients and installers, who were interested in deploying the systems on major offshore wind farm projects.
The ORE Catapult and Tekmar teams worked together to modify the Catapult’s largest dry dock to perform the field tests. Tekmar was then able to conduct full-scale demonstrations in a controlled dry and wet environment without having to go offshore.
James Ritchie, CEO of Tekmar Energy, said: “Developing and proving our products prior to field installation is a key component in maintaining our leadership and this combined with the ability to access high quality facilities like those at the Catapult in Blyth gives us a unique industrial advantage.”
“Innovative, technological improvements such as our cable protection systems can help towards creating a step-change in electrical cable technology which will help to minimise costs in the industry.”
Less than three months after completion of these trials, Tekmar was awarded a major contract by offshore cable installation contractor, VBMS, to supply its newly-launched TekTube to the Westermeerwind near-shore wind farm in the Netherlands.
ORE Catapult’s facility allowed them to demonstrate how their product is making a key industry contribution to reducing risk, installation time and costs as well as raising awareness of their technology to key clients.
“Supporting small businesses to address industry-wide challenges by devising innovative solutions is a key objective of the ORE Catapult, so it is particularly pleasing for us to be able to work with and support Tekmar in demonstrating their new technology,” said Richard Morris, Commercial Director at ORE Catapult.