Multi-use offshore platforms

UNITED: Multi-Use offshore platforms demoNstrators for boostIng cost-effecTive and Eco-friendly proDuction in sustainable marine activities

FuE-Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH
Dipl.-Biol. Eva Strothotte

The UNITED project uses pilot demonstrators to investigate the practicability of jointly carrying out various activities at the same maritime location, on so-called multi-use platforms, for the European maritime industry and for local ecosystems. The main activities focus on five areas: technology, economy, legal/governance/policy, society, and environment.

The team at the FuE-Zentrum is responsible for the organization and implementation of multiple use concepts within the planned five pilot plants. Tasks of this work package include the planning, installation, operation and dismantling of these five pilot plants. The pilot plant 1 is located close to ​​the research platform FINO3 80 kilometers west of Sylt. North Sea Innovation Lab, pilot plant 2, is located 12 kilometers northwest of The Hague, Netherlands. Pilot plant 3 will be located in the area of ​​the Belwind and Northwester 2 wind farms, 50 kilometers northwest of Oostende, Belgium. Close to the Middelgrunden wind farm, 3.5 kilometers east of Copenhagen (Denmark), pilot plant 4 is operated. Pilot plant 5 is located 850 meters from the island of Patroklos, Greece, in the area of ​​a fish farm.

The data collected within the pilot plants focus on biological (interaction of target types, environmental influences), social (creation and implementation of an educational program to promote public awareness and acceptance) and economic (business models and plans, studies on risk assessment) aspects.

The UNITED project
has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 8629155 and will run until the end of December 2023. EU-Contribution is about 9,822,668.50 €. Leadpartner is Stichting Deltares, Netherlands.

Activities and goals

The overall goal of UNITED is to examine the practicability of multi-use platforms with regard to technical, adminstrative, economic, social and environmental solutions. The goals are to validate the technology on site to identify risks, to develop a business plan and to evaluate the economic operation of multi-use platforms, taking into account possible compromises and costs for other sectors.

The main activities focus on five pillars: technology, economy, legal/governance/policy, society and environment. The technological pillar includes the need to synchronize multiple operating and maintenance systems, the impact on local market players, support in management and planning decisions for new developments as well as improvements on the current design, security and infrastructure for future multiple uses.

The economic pillar will deal with insurance issues, profitability and funding threshold, and return on investment for multi-use developments, taking into account the impact of risk and health on business, spatial planning and offshore as well as economic sustainability.

The legal/governance/policy pillar focuses on the lack of dialogue between public institutions that issue permits, the lack of health and safety regulations and standards for multiple uses, spatial planning and offshore, and the lack of a legal framework for multiple-use responsibility.

The social pillar comprises public debates and concerns, the social perception of multi-use offshore platforms compared to single use, problems of social property and acceptance, problems of trust between sectors as well as necessary improvements of professional skills and competences.

The environmental pillar assesses the environmental impact of various models and of the pilot site development and implementation plans.