Fresh designs for a £65 million training pool to support innovation and cost reduction in offshore renewables and the oil and gas industry have been unveiled.
The Blue Abyss, which will be built on six acres of land at Essex University’s Knowledge Gateway Innovation Park, is expected to be “the most comprehensive extreme environment research and training facility” of its kind.
According to architects Robin Partington & Partners, it will contain the world’s biggest training pool at 50 metres deep with 41,000m3 volume and replicate the challenges of tidal, wave and current conditions “in a safe and controlled environment”.
It would offer multiple opportunities for simulation, cable connection training, testing for offshore wind installation, oil and gas work scopes, decommissioning solutions and drone training.
The facility will feature a poolside crane and opening roof that would allow up to 100 tons of equipment to be lifted and submerged into the pool.
Blue Abyss will also offer a conference amphitheatre, training rooms and a 120-bed hotel.
It is expected to be fully operational by late 2018.