Boskalis has awarded Peterhead Port Authority with a contract to harbour the suction bucket jacket foundations for Vattenfall’s 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay, Scotland.
The contract will see the port moor one of the world’s largest floating cranes, with a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000 tonnes, and up to six barges that will transport the 11 foundations - the heaviest of which weighs around 1,800 tonnes and is about 77 metres high, Vattenfall said.
Peterhead Port Authority will also accommodate two supporting offshore construction vessels while a project site office will be established at the harbour for the installation operations which are due to start later this year.
The foundations will be transported to Peterhead for mooring via the six barge vessels, five of which will carry two foundations while the sixth will transport the final one. The installation vessel will be moored alongside the barges for heavy-lift operations. When offshore work starts, more than half the foundations will be installed under the water within the seabed.
Peterhead Port is to support the installation operations for at least four months with the offshore work expected to take around four to six weeks.
Boskalis is Vattenfall’s key supplier for the offshore construction and installation on the project including the foundations and cabling.
Andre Andringa, project director at Boskalis, said: “Peterhead Port Authority’s facilities provide a natural fit to support the foundation installation work for a number of reasons. With more than 3km of deep-water berthing, it can comfortably accommodate a large heavy lift vessel while the harbour is also sheltered which helps minimise the impact of weather conditions for loading.”
Peterhead Port has now become the latest harbour in the North-east of Scotland to provide support for the EOWDC. Last year, Vattenfall invested in leases totalling 24 years with Aberdeen Harbour Board to establish a base at Regent Centre for its construction team and a warehouse unit at Commercial Quay which will support the lifetime operations of the project.
“We welcome the selection of the experienced Peterhead Port Authority to marshal the massive steel structures needed for the cutting-edge EOWDC, and which builds on our investment with the project in the north east,'' Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall’s project director for the EOWDC, said.
''We are sure the sheer scale and prominence of the pioneering technology and work involved with the EOWDC will create a positive renewables momentum for the region putting the north east at the centre of international offshore wind innovation.”
The 92.4MW EOWDC, also known as Aberdeen offshore wind farm, is believed to be the first UK offshore wind project to deploy suction bucket jackets of this kind on a large scale. Through being paired with one of the world’s most powerful turbine models, the MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW, they also represent an industry first, Vattenfall said.