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How Do Protecting and Ballasting Shells Improve the Performance of Your MRE Project?

 In a continuous search of innovative solutions, FMGC designed and manufactured a new kind of submarine cable protection – the protecting and ballasting shells made of gray cast iron.

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Benefits of FMGC Submarine Cable Protection Solution

Submarine cable protection is of critical importance for the successful performance of numerous marine renewable energy projects. Undersea cables ensure the transfer from offshore power to the onshore consumers, connect different regional electrical transmission networks, provide electricity to remote areas, enables power supply for offshore installations and secure the global telecommunications network. Because of their steadily growing importance submarine power cables are considered as a critical infrastructure.

Since undersea cables are subject to frequent damage, in the recent years professionals have put a lot of efforts in their design, manufacture and installation. However, common protection techniques as direct burial, concrete mattresses and rock trenching have shown some disadvantages at a certain point, usually in terms of corrosion, cost-efficiency, bending radius, design or fatigue of the electrical conductors. Especially during installation damages can easily occur and can become obvious immediately but also many years later. The repair of the cable is expensive, laborious and may last from weeks to months. The second major threat for submarine cables encompasses natural disasters, fishing and shipping activities.

In a continuous search of innovative solutions, FMGC designed and manufactured a new kind of submarine cable protection – the protecting and ballasting shells made of gray cast iron. They possess a hydrodynamic, simple, robust and economical design, sufficient weight to stabilize the cables, an increase in the bendradius to match that of the cable and the undersea relief.

What is Your Industrial Background?

FMGC protecting and ballasting shells are suitable for both basic types of submarine cables: the HVAC one (High Voltage, Alternating Current), which is limited by transmission distance, normally less than 80  km and the HVDC one (High Voltage, Direct Current), which is used for longer distances and for system interconnection. 

The solution can find some application in the following business fields: 

Marine Renewable Energy

To transport the produced power to the shoreline, offshore wind and tidal turbines require reliable undersea cables. Harnessing the power of tidal in rough conditions come with countless challenges. FMGC solution ensures that the cables are well protected and maintainable.

 Oil & Gas

Next-generation subsea cables have made communication between offshore oil and gas rigs and mainland very simple. The FMGC protecting and ballasting shells can be successfully deployed by the telecommunications industry for cables connecting multiple platforms or for these ones connecting offshore fields to onshore operations.

 Internet’s undersea cables

Thanks to its robust design the FMGC shells can be used to protect as well internet’s undersea cables.

Electricity Transmission

FMGC shells can be used to protect and ballast undersea cables transmitting power via interconnectors between countries and continents. 

The FMGC protecting and ballasting shells are specifically designed and manufactured to suit the requirements and overcome the challenges of each individual customer’s subsea application and seabed characteristics (sand, rock). Our main priority is to fulfill the highest standards of safety and reliability.

Download the FMGC Data Sheets on Protecting and Ballasting Shells

FMGC shells can save you a lot of time since their installation occurs at the same time as this one of the cable. Furthermore, we provide a dedicated laying device, which increases the installation speed. The solution comes with a high economic gain since it is flexible and adjustable, depending on the specific needs of the submarine power cable and no additional support techniques as rock dumping or concrete mattress are required.

Furthermore, FMGC shells are made of 100% recycled materials and are environmentally friendly since there is no need to trench or clear sediments from the seabed and thus the installation has less to no impact on the soil. 

Why Cast Iron? 

The research of In Vivo Environment (Marine Environment and Ocenographic Consultancy Services) has confirmed that cast iron stays relatively unaffected by corrosion.

What Is the Impact of Gray Cast Iron on the Marine Environment?

Also, the right dimensioning, eliminating any oversize and the high-density of the material significantly minimize projects cost.

FMGC protecting and ballasting shells made of gray cast iron provide a better alternative for reliable submarine power cables protection than all existing common techniques. This is an innovative solution marking an important milestone in the development of the marine renewable energy sector and supporting other industries to overcome serious challenges in the installation and protection of their undersea cables.