Conference programme

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015
14:30 - 16:00 Supply chain models
Supply chain  
Onshore      Offshore    

Room: Belleville

This session investigates the theory and models of procurement and supply chain, and will provide some examples to demonstrate how to optimize wind component costs.

Learning objectives

  • Differentiate procurement and supply chain approaches
  • Understand how technical innovation can lower procurement costs
  • Understand the importance of lifetime costs
Lead Session Chair:
Kirsten Tracht, Bremen Institute for Mechanical Engineering, Germany

Thorsten Landau, GE, Germany
Matthew Bleasdale OWLC, United Kingdom
Matthew Bleasdale (1) F
(1) OWLC, Leicester, United Kingdom

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

As an engineer who has worked on numerous offshore wind projects, Matt has a strong understanding of the business model, its sensitivities and how they can be address through innovation.
He started his career offshore in subsea telecom cables and then oil & gas construction before moving to the offshore wind industry. His knowledge and experience informed an analysis of the offshore wind business model that identified cost reductions which are facilitated by the Gravity Tripod.
Matt started OWLC in December 2013 and currently consults on cable installation as well as risk and cost reduction, while developing the Gravity Tripod.


Low Cost, Low Risk Offshore Wind - a path to a new business model through technological innovation


Supply chain capacity for foundations is limited for water depths greater than 30m with large turbines (ie where Monopiles are no longer effective). At the same time the majority of the market is in such waters. This supply and demand imbalance is compounded by the fact that the only demonstrated realistic alternative to Monopiles (ie Jackets) are labour intensive, expensive and doesn't have a production capacity that scales well.
This presentation will address this critical supply/demand imbalance showing how, through innovation, there is a path to a new business model with low cost structures, high production rates, high installation rates as well as low cost and low risk installation.


The presentation shall cover the way in which innovation can introduce Lean processes to the offshore wind sub-structure (foundation) supply chain, reducing overheads and finance costs.
It shall cover the business case analysis that shows the cost reduction potential of innovation in the sub-structure market.
It shall address the risk and critical path analysis of the offshore construction programme to demonstrate how the current construction techniques have limited capacity for further cost reduction while innovative methods from the Oil and Gas industry can offer significant benefit.
It shall present engineering analysis to show that the innovative structures have significant opportunity for long life, low risk, investment class assets introducing new opportunities for new forms of project financing.

Main body of abstract

The business case sensitivity analysis work that shall be presented analysed the construction programme of the offshore wind industry, focusing on construction stage finance costs as well as construction risk. The critical path analysis of the construction programme that accompanied the sensitivity analysis identified the areas of the offshore operations that were the restrictions to a new construction methodology, focusing the attention of the engineering phase of the work on the most critical aspects that could open up a new business model.
The engineering work that followed the sensitivity and critical path analyses addressed the needs of the industry for a Lean, scaleable, production line process for sub-structures. It identified a modular manufacturing process that keeps overheads low and enables high production rates.
The structural engineering assessment that shall be presented demonstrated the survivability of the structure identified for the Ultimate Load State. The offshore construction analysis shall show the way in which vessel selection can keep per-structure costs low, while significantly reducing risk and construction time.
The presentation will present the overall cost reduction capacity of the innovation with LCOE reductions in the region of 6-8% from the £117 average FIT CfD Strike Price settled in the February 2015 auction.


The overall structure of the current construction programme, supply chain capacity and business model will be surmised alongside the high level view of the results of the analysis, engineering and cost modelling that was presented in detail within the presentation.
The conclusion will show how innovation can lead to a new low cost, low risk business model for the offshore wind industry and will set out the path of how that business model can be trialled in a discrete, low cost, opportunistic way leveraging spare capacity of vessels already contracted for projects to install new structural forms. It will unveil the next stage of work for development of the innovation and the funding that will be utilised to complete that work with the timelines for completion.

Learning objectives
No realistic alternatives to the current construction process have so far been shown to be successful. Delegates will learn from this presentation that there is an alternative that has a strong engineering basis and which can be demonstrated with minimal risk and cost. They will understand more of the sensitivities of the current business model and the way in which innovation can be focused to address those sensitivities.