Specialist in marine engineering, equipment and aquaculture, Gael Force Group, is celebrating after winning the best subsea industry service supply title at the Energy North awards in Inverness. The company won the award for the development of its innovative SeaLimpet floating gravity-based mooring device, designed for the subsea and renewables sectors. It recently announced the completion of its first contract for the device, with Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) off the coast of Oregon, USA.The awards ceremony was held at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, on September 29. The SeaLimpet is a cylindrical concrete structure with specially configured in-built chambers which can be flooded with water or evacuated using compressed air, allowing it to be towed, floating to position and then flooded to sink under controlled conditions. It secures wind, wave and subsea installations to the seabed with pinpoint accuracy and, because it can be floated into position using non-specialist vessels, avoids the need for heavy transportation ships and cranes, significantly lowering deployment costs whilst reducing operational risk.
Gael Force managing director David Guthrie said: “Following on from the launch of the SeaLimpet and the announcement of the completion of our first contract for the product, our success in the Energy North awards is the third piece of good news that we have had in recent weeks.
“It is an honour to be recognised by our peers in the region in this way, and we look forward to the Energy North awards becoming an established event on the calendar.”
Gael Force is based in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. The initial concept for the SeaLimpet came from feasibility work completed for an in-house marine renewable energy project and drew on the company’s experience in mooring heavy displacement marine structures in the aquaculture industry. However, Gael Force soon realised the potential that existed for the device in more general marine and oil and gas subsea sectors and is currently engaged in developing adaptations of the SeaLimpet for a variety of off-shore engineering projects.
Mr Guthrie said: “Industry is starting to recognise the vast potential SeaLimpet has for both subsea and renewable applications where low cost of deployment, accuracy and safety are key drivers. We also expect the SeaLimpet to be deployed in some other interesting mooring applications in due course, and have had a number of international inquiries about the capabilities of the product.”