An innovative large walking jack-up barge, WaveWalker 1, is being developed by two companies from The Netherlands – Fugro and Van Oord – to move and operate in rough seas, surf zones, beaches and other intertidal locations.

The firms are working together on the design, construction and operation of the jack-up, which is set to begin operating in the field later in 2012 on drilling and blasting works for the Brazilian Suape Outer Channel, a contract recently won by Van Oord.

WaveWalker can be operated in conventional four-legged mode, or as an eight‑legged self-contained walking jack-up platform, capable of safe operation and bi-directional movement while elevated. Undertaking geotechnical site investigations, drilling and other underwater activity from a stable platform with the added benefit of relocation without floating will reduce the impact of sea conditions on the operational hours required for the Brazilian operations and other harsh coastal zones.