Oceanlinx wave generator

The Oceanlinx wave energy convertor device was originally moored in its current location in 2009 under a licence agreement between Roads and Maritime Services and Oceanlinx Limited. Moored off the northern breakwater at Port Kembla, the device has not been operational for over seven years, now rusting and impacted by ocean waves. Following Oceanlinx Ltd being placed into administration in March 2014, Roads and Maritime has developed a plan to remove the structure.

In August 2016, Roads and Maritime Services awarded a contract for removal and demolition of the Oceanlinx wave generator to Polaris Marine P/L. Polaris commenced work in early September 2016, with final stages of removal planned to take place in early 2017.

Project background

In 2009, Roads and Maritime Services entered into a licence agreement with Oceanlinx allowing a 550 tonne wave energy conversion device to be moored on the northern breakwater off Port Kembla.

Oceanlinx is a wave energy converter device, using wave energy to convert into electrical energy. While seen as a positive opportunity for electricity generation, the Oceanlinx company went into administration in 2014, leaving the structure rusting in its current location.

Roads and Maritime assumed responsibility for the clean-up effort from December 2014 to remove and dispose of the wave generator.

Investigation work

Starting in 2015, Roads and Maritime Services has undertaken a routine inspection program at the Oceanlinx generator, and worked with industry partners to develop a methodology that would adequately address the removal of the structure.

Roads and Maritime inspections have included a focus on safety, ensuring that the structure remains safe, given the ocean conditions at the site.

Structural condition

In June 2016, heavy storms on the South Coast impacted on the structure above the water. A 50 tonne section of the steel gantry had shifted as a result of wave impacts. Following this storm event, Roads and Maritime implemented a 100 metre exclusion zone around the Oceanlinx structure, encouraging waterway users to keep clear.

What’s happening

Work commenced to remove the wave generator structure in September 2016. So far, the planned work methodology has included:

  • Removal of the 50 tonne section of steel gantry during September 2016 to make safe for further investigation. This structure was lifted onto a barge, and transported to Newcastle Port where the steel will be recycled.
  • Inspections of the submerged sections of the wave generator structure, to ensure integrity. The structure is designed to float, however, it is currently weighed down by a series of tanks that have been filled with water.

Removal and disposal of the remainder of the structure, weighing 500 tonnes, subject to the integrity inspections confirming the structure will float.

Good, calm conditions and high tides are required to complete work on this project. The work dates noted above are all subject to change based on weather conditions, tide conditions and swell conditions.

Roads and Maritime aims to complete the removal as soon as practical, but the completion date is dependent on weather and ocean conditions. We will continue to provide updates on this project as it moves through to completion.

Further information

For any further enquiries on this project, please email csemaritime@rms.nsw.gov.au.

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