BOURBON successfully completes the installation of the submarine cable as part of the Sabella D10 tidal turbine project

PARIS, June 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BOURBON is participating in a tidal turbine connection project off the island of Ushant (Brittany, France), a first in France. A pioneer in the towing and installation of the first floating wind turbine off the coast of Portugal, BOURBON is committed in the field of renewable energies and is now supporting SABELLA[1]. Our mission: to lay the electrical cable for connecting the first tidal turbine to the national grid. The challenges: a narrow corridor, strong currents, 30 tons of cable.

The resources made available by BOURBON[2] for this operation:

  • The Argonaute, a vessel measuring 69 meters long by 15 meters wide, equipped with a dynamic positioning system;
  • A Falcon series ROV, lightweight and highly mobile, specializing in diving support work and conducting visual inspections in shallow water;
  • All necessary equipment for cable laying, landing and burying (winch, floats, fittings, underwater positioning systems, building vehicles, etc.);
  • A team of over 30 experienced professionals, including engineers, seafarers, divers and ROV pilots.

After 2 weeks of preparation, in close collaboration with all project stakeholders (client, cable manufacturer, divers, construction company, etc.), the laying of the electrical cable, a complex operation, was successfully conducted from May 23 - 26 2015, in a window of favorable weather. The low tidal coefficient at this time made it possible to avoid strong currents. Rather, the wind and wave conditions were conducive to the work of the divers and the precise positioning of the vessel in order to lay the cable within a narrow corridor.

Teams from BOURBON and Sabella thus landed, placed, and buried 30 tons of 68 mm diameter cable over 2 km at depths from 0 to 60 m in the Fromveur Passage to Ushant. "This cable laying is an essential step of the Sabella D10 project: it makes it possible to connect the tidal turbine to shore. This is a delicate operation, given the very strong currents in the area. We were able to rely with confidence on the expertise and know-how of the BOURBON teams.", says Fanch Le Bris, Sabella CEO.

For this project, BOURBON provided a turnkey service both upstream and downstream:

  • Project management and engineering;
  • Installation of the submarine cable and connector;
  • Landing of cable to the collector;
  • Managing the various providers needed to complete the entire operation.

A dedicated team from our research department will also support monitoring the project at the time of final immersion of the tidal turbine expected to occur by late June. Through these experiences in offshore wind and tidal farms, BOURBON positions itself as an integrator, installer of submarine cables for renewable energy.

The first tidal turbine mass developed in France, Sabella D10 is a demonstrator that will supply 15% of the island's energy needs for 1 year. This project follows the installation of an experimental prototype tidal turbine called Sabella D3 in 2008. The data returned will be analyzed and make it possible, ultimately, if it proves successful, to mass produce new, more powerful turbines, to be installed by 2017. An "experimental tidal farm" of 3 Sabella D15 type turbines linked to an energy storage system would then cover 70% of Ushant's electricity needs.


Among the market leaders in marine services for offshore oil & gas, BOURBON offers the most demanding oil & gas companies a wide range of marine services, both surface and sub-surface, for offshore oil & gas fields and wind farms. These extensive services rely on a broad range of the latest-generation vessels and the expertise of more than 11,000 skilled employees. Through its 29 operating subsidiaries the group provides local services as close as possible to customers and their operations throughout the world, of the highest standards of service and safety.

BOURBON provides two operating Activities (Marine Services and Subsea Services) and also protects the French coastline for the French Navy.

In 2014, BOURBON'S revenue came to €1,346.4 million and as of March 31, 2015, the company operated a fleet of 501 vessels. Under the "BOURBON 2015 Leadership Strategy" plan, the group has built a vast fleet of innovative, high-performance mass produced offshore vessels.

Placed by ICB (Industry Classification Benchmark) in the "Oil Services" sector, BOURBON is listed on the Euronext Paris, Compartment A.

To download the photos of the operation, please click here:



Investor Relations, analysts, shareholders James Fraser, CFA +33 491 133 545

Corporate Communications Christelle Loisel
+33 491 136 732

Media relations agency Publicis Consultants

Jérôme Goaer +33 144 824 624
Véronique Duhoux
+33 144 824 633
Vilizara Lazarova
+33 144 824 634


Jean François DAVIAU, Président
+33 298 101 235

[1] Engineering and project management company operating in the field of marine energies:

[2] Bourbon Offshore Surf, as shipmanager, in coordination with

  • the French Navy, that authorized the supply of the Argonaute, under annual contract with the Atlantic French coast Maritime Authorities;
  • Les Abeilles Director, in the framework of the affiliate coastal protection missions;
  • Bourbon's Subsea division, based in Marseilles, for project management and engineering ;
  • The affiliate Bourbon Offshore DNT, based in Ravenna, for ROV management.

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