A new environmentally-friendly and sustainable 27- metre-long intake pipe has been successfully deployed in Plymouth Sound through the collaboration of several Cornish and Plymouth-based companies.

The role of the pipe is to provide the Marine Biological Association’s research laboratory with a consistent source of seawater to allow their continued research work.

Penryn-based ScaffFloat was commissioned to develop a submersible pontoon to install the bespoke Marine Matts being used to hold the new pipe in position. The Marine Matts, a unique structural material developed by ARC Marine, are made from a carbon-neutral concrete alternative called Marine Crete. They were designed with a texture and surface that can support and replenish biodiversity of local marine life whilst providing durability and protection for the intake line.

ScaffFloat had designed bespoke, self propelled pontoons, to transport the Matts and the pipe to the site of the new intake. The Matts, and the pipe with it, were suspended underneath four pontoons which moved them into position. Two pontoons needed to be partially submerged which was achieved by flooding the necessary floats to lower the Matt and pipe assembly onto the seabed and ensure accuracy of 100mm tolerance. The team partnered up with the divers from Seawide Services, Falmouth who ensured the mattresses were laid accurately and then detached the pontoon from the mattress.

Toby Budd, founder and MD of ScaffFloat, said: “This was a great first case study showing how ScaffFloat can be used below as well as above the water. We always enjoy the opportunity to develop the scope of work that we can achieve with ScaffFloat.”