DEME's vessel Orion installing a monopile at Moray West offshore site

Orion Completes Monopile Installation at Moray West, Wind Orca Arrives in Scotland Ahead of Turbine Installation

Belgian offshore construction company DEME, using its vessel Orion, has completed the installation of monopiles at the Moray West offshore wind farm site in Scotland

DEME's vessel Orion installing a monopile at Moray West offshore site
Photo courtesy of DEME

Monopile installation at Moray West started in October 2023, with Boskalis’s vessel Bokalift 2 deployed for the work and Orion taking over in February.

DEME’s Orion installed 29 monopiles for Ocean Winds’ Scottish project and its jack-up Apollo, which arrived in Scotland at the beginning of this year, remains on the site installing transition pieces (TPs).

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DEME won the contract for the installation of monopile foundations and transition pieces at Moray West in 2022. The company’s scope of work also includes the bolting and grouting of the monopile/transition piece connections.

According to the offshore construction company, Orion was able to install the 29 monopiles in approximately two months “despite harsh winter conditions”.

DEME also emphasised that, for the Scottish project, innovative specialised tools were deployed, such as a Quad Vibro Hammer and bolting equipment for M90 bolts. The Vibro Hammer was used to overcome the risks of pile-runs, due to the combination of soft and hard soil layers. Afterwards, the piles were hammered to the target depth with a hydraulic impact hammer, DEME said.

“‘Orion’ transported the 29 monopiles, which weigh up to 2000 tonnes each, from the port of Invergordon and installed them in full DP mode, without the use of anchors. Orion’s specially designed and high-tech motion compensated pile gripper, in combination with its 5,000-tonne crane and vessel ballasting techniques, enabled efficient operations despite the notorious Scottish winter weather conditions,” the company said in a press release on 15 April.

As the foundation work continues on the project site of the 882 MW Moray West with TP installation underway, the first wind turbines are expected to soon be installed as Cadeler’s vessel Wind Orca arrived in the Port of Nigg last week, according to AIS data available online.

According to a Notice of Operations from the Moray West project team, issued on 18 March, the wind turbine installation campaign will be taking place from April until October this year.

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Moray West will have 60 wind turbines and will be the first project to feature Siemens Gamesa’s SG 14-222 DD model. The turbines at the 882 MW offshore wind farm will utilise the PowerBoost feature that increases the individual generation capacity to 14.7 MW.

Located in the Moray Firth, approximately 22.5 kilometres from the Caithness coastline, Moray West is expected to generate its first power this year and to be fully operational in 2025. Once commissioned, the offshore wind farm will be able to meet the electricity requirements of about 650,000 households in Scotland for 25 years.


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