Monday, June 29, 2020

Giant Crane Required to Actually Drop Something in the Water for a Change

Wind Farm Foundations Towed Into Place
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – DENMARK – The burgeoning market which is the offshore wind industry is proving a boon during hard times to a variety of sectors associated with maritime industries. Not least amongst these are those supplying large enough cranes to handle ever larger components to construct the offshore farms, but it seems not always to load aboard supply vessels, simply to drop in the sea!

One such benefactor is Liebherr whose giant TCC 78000 heavy-duty crane can be seen ‘loading’ one of the 72 giant monopiles required in the building of the offshore wind farm ‘Kriegers Flak’, which is currently under construction. The wind farm, located south of the Danish coast, will supply up to 600,000 households with electricity in the future and will thus become Denmark's largest marine generator.

Work started last month when the first of the monopile foundations were loaded from the quayside into the water by the TCC 78000 and its experienced operating team. For direct loading into the water, the otherwise hollow piles, which are open at both ends, must be sealed watertight in advance with specially constructed sealing caps, so-called plugs. The impervious sealed conditions thus created enable the monopile foundation piles, which are over 65 metres long and weigh up to 800 tonnes, to float.

The TCC 78000 is a resident crane at Liebherr’s own Rostock facility and offers a maximum lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes whilst normally being used for the crane builders own internal logistics processes in the production, assembly and dispatch of maritime cranes. The giant unit and its location means however Liebherr can also offer external companies the possibility of carrying out heavy-duty loading in the Rostock overseas port.

Liebherr's accessibility in the Port of Rostock offers another decisive advantage in addition to the innovative lifting technology. The direct location on the Baltic Sea and the good hinterland connections to the German rail network and to the A19 and A20 motorways are ideal logistical conditions for handling large goods. In this context, the companies EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH and Vattenfall are the first external cooperation partners to make use of this service. Gregor Levold, General Manager Shipping and Heavy Lift Handling at Liebherr in Rostock commented:

“We are pleased to be able to take over the first external loading order of the TCC 78000 for EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH from the direct neighbourhood in the Rostock overseas port. Thanks to constructive cooperation and a thorough preparation phase, the monopile shipments are proceeding according to plan. The fact that we are now also contributing a part to the largest Danish offshore wind farm makes us a little proud.”

Since 2008 EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH has been a pioneer in the production of monopiles, which are used as foundations for the offshore wind turbines and Liebherr’s additional storage space of almost 9000 m² means up to 4 of the giant constructions can be stored simultaneously. Kriegers Flak is Vattenfall's largest offshore project in Denmark to date and, after loading into the water, a deep-sea tugboat transports the monopile foundations out towards the wind farm, which is located about 15 kilometres off the Danish coast, a la Cleopatra’s Needle.