Germany: Global Tech I Construction to Start Punctually
The company Windreich AG, the wind power pioneer and leading builder of wind farms in the German North Sea, congratulates Bremen HOCHTIEF subsidiary HGO InfraSea Solutions on the launching of the ‘INNOVATION’ construction vessel.
The Global Tech I wind farm initiated by Windreich was the initial trigger for the planning and realisation of this installation ship – the biggest in the world. The first job of the INNOVATION will be to construct the 440 MW Global Tech I wind farm that is situated approximately 110 kilometres off the coast of Germany in the German North Sea, with the project ongoing until the end of 2013.
“The launch of the INNOVATION also symbolises the starting shot of the shipping of the first foundations of the Global Tech I. This means the punctual construction of the first 400 MW wind farm, which is right on schedule, is guaranteed. Thanks to the unconditional approval for the power network connection in 2010 for Global Tech I, by the end of 2013, all in all, 80 wind power systems will supply a million people with affordable and safely produced North Sea electricity,” explains Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. (FH) Willi Balz, Executive Chairman of Windreich AG.
The third and so far biggest HOCHTIEF construction vessel has a total loading capacity of 8,000 tonnes which is equivalent to the weight of 14 fully loaded Airbus A380s. The INNOVATION can transport three tripod foundations and nine approx. 60 meter long poles to the construction zone in the North Sea all at once.
With its four hydraulic legs, the 147 meter long crane lift ship with an area of approx. 1.5 football fields becomes a fixed working platform on the German North Sea. Operations in a water depth of up to 65 meters occur with the help of a Liebherr crane which makes the precise installation of the wind power systems in the sea possible.
This crane is configured for up to 1,500 tonnes in weight which also means it offers the highest safety levels during the construction of the foundations, each of which weighs 900 tonnes.
“This collaboration brings the entire offshore industry one decisive step further. I am proud that Windreich is the first to use the huge technical possibilities offered by INNOVATION,” explains Willi Balz.
Last year, Global Tech I received 1.047 bn. Euros project financing from 16 banks including the European Investment Bank and the KfW. Willi Balz previously raised 800 m. equity capital from just six leading South German investors. The construction of Global Tech I started on schedule in August 2012.
The next step, commencing in autumn 2012, will see the internal cabling at the farm and the assembly of the Global Tech 1 wind turbines starting. With the ‘MEG I’ and ‘Deutsche Bucht’ follow-up projects, on schedule to start in 2014 and 2015 respectively, all the necessary contracts and initial work required is now available, including approval for connection to the power networks.
Press release, September 10, 2012; Image: Windreich AG