The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) confirmed earlier this year that Wave Hub had been chosen as its preferred location to develop, build and test a floating offshore wind turbine to investigate whether floating windfarms could play a cost-effective role in meeting the UK’s energy needs.

KML and offshore drilling specialists LDD have been chosen by lead contractor The Glosten Associates to work on an installation study for the pioneering project.

US-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm Glosten was confirmed by the ETI in March as the company that will design the demonstrator. It will develop a PelaStar tension leg platform (TLP) prototype in partnership with Alstom, using their Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine.

Wave Hub, which is a grid-connected offshore renewable energy test facility 10 miles off the north coast of Cornwall near Hayle, could host the project as early as 2015, and it would remain in place for between eight and 10 years.

Glosten and the ETI have confirmed that KML and LDD have won the contract to carry out studies for anchoring and subsea installation works for the turbine.

KML is a worldwide marine contractor and vessel owner specialising in shoreline, coastal and offshore marine operations. The company operates from a number of bases around the UK, but also runs its main administrative base from Porthtowan and a number of its vessels from Falmouth in Cornwall,

LDD is a worldwide offshore drilling and specialist marine construction contractor, with headquarters in Penryn, Cornwall and a base in Perth, Australia.

Wave Hub managing director Claire Gibson said: “We are delighted that KML and LDD have been chosen by Glosten to work on this innovative floating wind project at Wave Hub.”

“It is testimony to the experience we have in the marine engineering sector in Cornwall that two local companies have successfully collaborated to win this essential work, in a competitive global marketplace.”

Nikki Meek, Business and Project Development Manager for KML, said: “We were delighted to collaborate on this exciting project as both ourselves and LDD are Cornish companies, working within half an hour of each other. We were able to put together a bid which reflected the complimentary skills and experience that both our companies can offer to this project.

“We’ll be jointly carrying out a feasibility study into the anchoring and installation works, and KML will be providing the extensive marine operations experience (particularly in energetic sites), while LDD will be bringing to the table their large diameter drill design and build knowledge and offshore drilling experience.

“It’s fantastic that two Cornish companies are involved in this exciting project and especially as it is located in our local waters.”

Mark Richards, Vice President for LDD, said “As a specialist marine foundation contractor, LDD is delighted to be given the opportunity to collaborate with Glosten Associates and fellow South West based marine contractor KML on the development of the Pelastar floating wind turbine project. As a Cornish based company that usually works internationally, we’re passionate about delivering success to this exciting project at the Cornish Wave Hub site. “

Glosten’s Ken FitzGerald said, “It’s a privilege to work with contractors who have the unique experience of KML and LDD. Together, we are anchoring the financial viability of full scale floating wind by developing locally sourced cost effect installation techniques”.

The two companies have been appointed as part of a £4 million Front End Engineering Study commissioned and funded by the ETI which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The ETI will then decide whether to invest up to £21m in the construction and deployment of the demonstrator project which would occupy one of Wave Hub’s four berths.