Sustainable Concrete Material Leading to Improved Substructures for Offshore Renewable Energy Technologies

The main objective of WECHULL+ is to demonstrate (TRL4-6) a new, sustainable, circular and reliable concrete material suitable for floating substructures in the offshore renewable energy sector. WECHULL+ objectives and activities are based upon the learnings and proof-of-concept (TRL4) of a new sustainable concrete mix with high-performance in marine environment. WECHULL+ takes these efforts to a European level (TRL6), where experts are brought together to validate and verify WECHULL+ concrete material and its real application through samples and prototypes in lab and ocean.

Traditionally used steel is expensive and prone to corrosion in the harsh marine environment. Composites price is even higher, it is fossil-fuel based, its manufacturing is characterized with high environmental impacts and still lacks data on long-term performance in sea water. Therefore, the blue energy sector is looking into concrete as an inexpensive (approx. 100 EUR/ton – 30 times lower than steel and 50 times lower than carbon fibre reinforced composites), durable in marine environment and easy and fast on-site manufacturing alternative to traditional manufacturing. Concrete is also a material with the most mature value chain and enables using local production at almost every location in the world. This is a particular advantage for ORE installations, often planned in specific sites due to favourable ocean conditions or being close to islands without connections to the continental energy network.