Germany: HGO Commissions ‘INNOVATION’ Jack-Up Vessel

Germany: HGO Commissions 'INNOVATION' Jack-Up Vessel

Christening Ceremony of INNOVATION

HGO InfraSea Solutions, a joint venture between HOCHTIEF and GeoSea—a subsidiary of the Belgian DEME Group—today officially commissioned the wind market’s most powerful jack-up vessel, the INNOVATION. In the company of around 600 guests from the European offshore market, Geertrui Van Rompuy-Windels, wife of the President of the European Council, christened the ship in Bremerhaven.

The INNOVATION was developed for the construction and servicing of offshore wind farms and oil and gas plants at sea. Thanks to its high deck cargo and the powerful 1,500-ton crane, the ship is ideal for the safe and fast assembly of the latest-generation foundations and wind turbines at great water depths. Its unique features ensured that it was already chartered to AREVA for several years long before completion. HOCHTIEF is using the jack-up vessel first to build the North Sea wind farm Global Tech I.

Ullrich Reinke, a member of the Executive Board of HOCHTIEF Solutions AG, says: “By developing the INNOVATION, HOCHTIEF and GeoSea are making a crucial contribution to reducing the cost of building offshore wind power plants. Even under harsh conditions, the ship can be used 300 days a year. This gives investors a high level of planning reliability.”

The construction of the ship was a European project. It was commissioned at the behest of the German-Belgian joint venture HGO InfraSea Solutions and,after two years of planning, was built in only two years at the Crist shipyard in Poland. 70 percent of the purchasing volume comes from German production. This includes the powerful Liebherr crane and the jack-up system from Siemens.

The Crist shipyard is currently fulfilling a follow-up order from HOCHTIEF: The jack-up vessel VIDAR will be put into service next year. The HOCHTIEF fleet also includes two jack-up platforms (ODIN and THOR) and three heavy-load pontoons that can be used at sea. There is huge market demand for all of this equipment and it is all working to capacity.

HOCHTIEF is now one of the biggest players in the offshore wind market, and not only through chartering its large-scale equipment. The company builds and installs offshore components or entire wind farms. Its major projects include the wind farms Global Tech I in the North Sea and EnBW Baltic 2 in the Baltic with a total nominal output of 700 megawatts.

In addition, HOCHTIEF is itself currently developing five North Sea wind farms in conjunction with an investment partner: 425 wind turbines are planned with total output of well in excess of two gigawatts.

Once completed, the plants will secure more than one-quarter of the German Federal Government’s expansion target for offshore wind up to 2020.
Overall, the development of the energy infrastructure is HOCHTIEF’s most important growth market.

The Group intends to increase its sales in this area in the coming five years by 40 percent. HOCHTIEF is involved not only in electricity generation but also in expanding the land side grid, and in the storage of energy, for example, at pumped storage power plants.

Using its great technical expertise, the company is constantly developing new solutions with which the energy turnaround can be implemented faster and better.

Its most important innovations include Offshore Foundation Drilling, which was developed in conjunction with Herrenknecht. This low-noise drilling method causes less disturbance to marine fauna and simultaneously reduces the investment costs involved in the installation of offshore wind power plants.

Another new area of development is the construction of heavy-load foundations which HOCHTIEF is providing with partners, under the name of Gravitas. The manufacture of prototypes is currently in planning.

“With our investments and developments, we are taking responsibility for the conversion of the energy sector. Politicians must now provide reliable framework conditions and financial security,” says the HOCHTIEF CEO, Dr. Frank Stieler.


Press release, September 3, 2012; Image: HOCHTIEF Solutions AG