Mike McCabe, ENGIE Fabricom’s Head of Offshore Projects Renewables, has recently been featured in the latest Energy Engineering publication where he answered a range of questions.
Energy Engineering (EE): Could you tell me a little about your background in the sector?
Mike McCabe (MM): I am a degree qualified professional with over 20 years’ experience within the energy sector and have been Head of Offshore Projects for ENGIE Fabricom since 2011. I have been ultimately responsible for a wide range maintenance and projects throughout the UK.
EE: Could you provide a brief summary of your organisations offering to the market?
MM: ENGIE Fabricom is a multidiscipline engineering design, consultancy and construction company providing comprehensive engineering design and project management services to all UK industry sectors. Our key strength is our professionalism and the commitment of our employees; we encourage the best people to join our business, training and developing them to further underpin our ability to deliver our services in a safe, efficient and timely manner.
All our offices and facilities are linked through a dedicated communications network, which extends to our project sites across the UK.
Through our five core values and the quality of our skilled workforce, we continue to build on our reputation for providing innovative solutions for our clients to achieve their objectives without sacrificing our key principles of safety and quality.
ENGIE Fabricom UK is recognised as a dependable partner to the renewables industry. With over a decade of experience within Offshore Wind, the business delivers a range of solutions from small scale retrofits to major projects and campaign management.
We offer a wide range of services and solutions to our clients. Our dedicated teams are experts in delivering safe, quality and efficient solutions. This gives our clients the assurance and confidence they demand when executing complex and challenging projects.
Our key services include:
• Internal Anode Installation
• Cathodic Protection Inspection
• Grouted Connection Remediation
• Safety Upgrades and Retrofit
• Coating and Inspection
• Statutory and Turbine Inspection
• OEM Turbine Servicing
• Substation Commissioning and Maintenance
• Consultancy and Resource Supply
• Met Mast Surveys
EE: How does the offshore sector look at the moment in UK and how would you assess its future potential?
MM: Well where do I start? This year has been challenging in so many ways. The offshore wind maintenance market suffered during our national lockdown but as we head towards the year end, I feel positive about the future. Looking back, I believe the market coped well over these unprecedented and changing times. We fully expect the UK offshore wind market to show signs of recovery in 2021, and discussions with our clients have been positive and upbeat for projects to be released next year.
EE: Do you have a project or case study you could provide some details of?
MM: We have recently secured a contract with a major offshore wind provider to analyse the current performance and suitability of its monopile foundations on over 50 wind turbines, through carrying out complete cathodic protection and pH monitoring of the internal water within each monopile. One of the biggest challenges faced by wind farm operators is the risks and significant lifetime safety implications caused by unexpected corrosion of a monopile foundation. As such, and in response to this challenge, we have successfully completed numerous cathodic protection projects for various wind farm operators across the UK. The contract will see our technicians and onshore team use specialist monitoring equipment that will be lowered into each monopile’s foundation internal water. We will then analyse the measurements and issue a detailed report outlining a series of recommendations to its offshore wind client which will be underpinned by the DNV specification for cathodic protection.
EE: What are your reflections on 2019/2020?
MM: In 2019 we had a very prosperous year, executing a range of offshore projects and employing over 150 technicians across various UK wind farms. This was expected to continue into 2020 but was sharply interrupted by COVID-19. Like most businesses and sectors, we have faced the challenge of the current pandemic and adopted new ways of working which has had a positive response. The number of projects executed reduced during 2020 with the majority of CAPEX projects deferred into 2021. I am really proud of how our team have responded to the pandemic. The works we have executed this year have been delivered on time and to budget and most important of all, safely. This has been a testament to the hard work and preparation.
EE: What do you see as the key trends in the sector?
MM: I think we will start to see new entrants to the market. With the decline of North Sea Oil and Gas I expect an influx of major oil and gas companies making the move to the UK / European offshore wind market. I also see development in floating offshore wind coming very much to the forefront in the next 3-5 years. Due to our experience and continued success within the renewables industry it is our intention to offer a wide range of services to our clients.
EE: Summary message to the market?
MM: Over the last 10 years we have demonstrated our commitment to the renewables industry through continuous growth and development or new services to meet our clients needs. Both the UK business and ENGIE Group are committed to the transition towards zero carbon. It is clear our strategic approach will continue to develop and grow our offering within offshore wind and the wider green industry such as hydrogen and energy storage. We will continue to invest in our people and facilities to further strengthen our position in the market to be our clients’ partner of choice.
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