Floating offshore wind is getting real

23 sep 2019

After years of development, Engie’s first offshore floating wind turbine was completed in Ferrol in the north of Spain.
The perfect opportunity to discuss with our Tractebel wind specialist Yann Favre, who was involved in this innovative project.

Yann, can you tell us about yourself?

I’m a Project Engineer in Renewable Energy specialising in Wind power, and I joined Tractebel Thailand 3 years ago after a research study in Energy at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. I wanted to start my career in an international and dynamic environment, and I found Tractebel Thailand on my way.  

You have been involved in the WindFloat Atlantic Project, what was your role?

I had the opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team with experts from Tractebel Belgium. I took part of the construction supervision of the offshore floating wind turbine. Ten days on site, it was very intense, and the days were filled with unexpected technical issues to resolve.

Why were you sent there? 

Tractebel Thailand wants to strengthen its position in Wind and enhance the positioning of Tractebel as a key player in the upcoming wave of offshore wind in the Asia Pacific region so the management thought of sending me to work on this project. Offshore wind is starting in Vietnam and Taiwan, and more are about to come in the region. To develop Tractebel’s business and improve its reputation, we hope to be able to offer our clients the best services and solutions.

Working in a water environment makes wind off-shore projects technically complex and sometimes unpredictable. Floating wind turbine is one level beyond regarding complexity: it involves extra preparation, a particular construction approach and, on top of that, it requires a sense of responsiveness and adaptability as the external conditions constantly change.

That is why this project has been built like a learning expedition by the Regional Manager of Tractebel Thailand, Antoine FERRANT. This experience boosted my competencies in site supervision and it’s an experience that can be shared within Tractebel Thailand. Nothing replaces site immersion and facing reality upfront. I have learned so much in such a limited time.

What’s next?

Regarding the project itself, 2 more wind turbines are about to be built so two more chances at on the job training for me to come. This initiative also benefits the rest of the Renewable Department in Thailand. Last month I led a “Lunch and Learn” with my colleagues to share what I’ve learned and what methods and innovations we can concretely implement.

From a personal point of view, I hope this experience will strengthen my credibility as a Project Engineer and prepare me for the next step.

Yann FAVRE, Project Engineer in Renewable Energy specialising in Wind power

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