Multi-purpose Offshore Platforms: Past, Present and Future Research and Developments
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Energy, fisheries and transport infrastructures are increasingly being established offshore. Facilities such as offshore wind farms may occupy large areas and compete with other users of the maritime space. Accordingly, offshore platforms that can combine many functions within the same infrastructure could offer significant benefits. This applies to economy, optimization of spatial planning and minimization of the impact on the environment. In the present paper, some proposed innovative designs for multi-use offshore platforms are described. The technical, economical and environmental feasibility of designing, installing, operating, servicing and maintaining such platforms are discussed. The relevant platforms under consideration are targeted towards ocean renewable energy (in particular offshore wind), aquaculture and related transport maritime services. Innovative designs for multi-use offshore platforms that intend to allow optimal coupling of the various activities and services are highlighted. Issues such as safe and efficient installation, operation, maintenance and monitoring are also briefly discussed in the paper.