With the ever-increasing size of the offshore wind turbine components, the vessels installing them need to catch up with the industry. For this purpose, Van Oord has been upgrading two of its installation vessels working in the offshore wind sector.
Van Oord is working on upgrading its heavy-lift installation vessel Svanen to enable it to handle wind turbine monopiles of more than 2,000 tonnes. Also, Aeolus will soon have a new 1,600-tonne crane fitted to replace the original 900-tonne crane.
The market for offshore wind installations achieved a breakthrough in 2016, Van Oord said as it posted its 2016 annual results, thanks in part to governments’ ambitious and detailed energy transition plans, leading to a significant reduction in the cost of offshore wind farm construction.
Offshore wind farms are bigger and more powerful these days, and are increasingly being constructed in deeper waters, making heavy demands on their designers and builders. The demand for all-round solutions continues to grow, with clients inviting tenders for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, according to the company.
Aside from being part of the consortium behind the Borssele III & IV project in the Netherlands, Van Oord has also been awarded an EPCI contract for the foundations, the offshore substation, and the inter-array and export cables at the Belgian Norther offshore wind farm, where the company will deploy its Aeolus vessel during foundation installation in 2018.
Furthermore, Van Oord will use Svanen to install 60 monopiles and transition pieces at the Arkona offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea, with installation works starting this year.
The company has also been hired for the logistics of all East Anglia ONE jacket foundations and piles, and their transport to the marshalling port of Flushing (Vlissingen) in the Netherlands, from where they will be transported and installed with the main installation vessel Seajacks Scylla.