FALMOUTH-based Keynvor Morlift Ltd (KML) has successfully completed the decommissioning of the world's first large scale commercial tidal system in Northern Ireland.

As the principal contractor, KML was appointed to undertake the removal of the 760T marine turbine SeaGen in Northern Ireland and the project solution was designed and completed by their in-house team.

KML’s managing director, Diccon Rogers, said: “The SeaGen project is a great example of how our versatility can deliver excellent cost effective solutions for our clients. This project was designed by our in-house naval architects and fabricators, made creative use of our fleet and was executed by our talented marine team. I am delighted with the amazing outcome.”

Preparation work was undertaken by a team onboard KML’s multipurpose ship, Severn Sea, who used its ROV to operate a diamond wire saw to cut out the structure’s four pin piles.

Meanwhile, KML’s team of naval architects and fabricators modified KML’s barge, Selina, so that three 300T chain pullers could be mounted on to her bow in order to be able to lift the device.

Detailed planning was essential throughout, as Strangford Lough is known for one of the strongest tidal races in the UK of up to eight knots, meaning all subsea operations had to be undertaken during brief windows of slack tide. Once the lift was successfully completed, Selina delivered the device foundation to Swansea Dry Dock.

Owned by Atlantis Energy, SeaGen’s was the world’s first commercial scale tidal turbine and has now become the first to be fully decommissioned.

KML has provided a wide range of marine main contractor support and heavy lift services throughout the full lifecycle of the tidal system over a 10 year period.

This included the first phase of decommissioning in May 2016 with the removal of the system’s two 600kW Powertrains. In August 2018, the topsides and crossbeam were removed and these final works were completed with the successful removal of the remaining tower and subsea structure.

Tim Cornelius, the CEO of Atlantis, the global developer of sustainable energy projects, said: “SeaGen’s successful decommission represents a major milestone for the tidal power industry. I would like to pay tribute to the skill and expertise of the team at Keynvor Morlift for delivering this truly impressive feat of engineering.”