Heavylift / Breakbulk
Fresh winds for windmills
Many conditions have to be just right, and others might require improvement, in order for windmills to remain efficient and environmentfriendly. Flying wind turbines, designed to generate energy above the surface of the sea, are now being tested by makani, for instance. The careful transport of parts required to build wind farms continues to play a major role for the segment.
There are many important factors that help windmills succeed – including enough wind, acceptance from the local population and satisfactory operating results. Careful logistics and the circumspect transport of the necessary components also contribute to beneficial operations. Two shipping lines recently set new records whilst carrying out transport tasks for wind farms.
Windmill blades on ro-ro ships
The Norwegian shipping line Höegh, a global pioneer in the ro-ro shipping segment, recently loaded the longest breakbulk unit onto a ro-ro ship. The task was carried out for the transport of a 28 m windmill blade from Ennore (India) to Shanghai (China).
The client concerned had chosen a ro-ro transport option for this sensitive consignment, instead of the more conventional lo-lo solution usually used for such a shipment. Höegh Autoliners India captain Lester Fernandes explained that this was a big step for his enterprise, as no ro-ro shipping line had ever taken on such a task from the port of Ennore before.
This particular shipper has always used a lo-lo vessel for its breakbulk consignments so far, and was rather surprised to be offered the possibility of underdeck stowage on a ro-ro ship. The move simultaneously minimised the number of lifting actions required. The maximum the cargo needed to be lifted was only 2 m, compared with 15 – 20 m usually needed in lo-lo operations.
The risk of damage was also significantly reduced, as the windmill vane was supported by just two scaffolds. In addition, there were the advantages of regular ro-ro liner services with shorter transit times, which reduced storage duration in the port and factory and thus cut the overall costs for the shipper.
A record for transition pieces
The Dutch line Jumbo Shipping recently reported the handling of the largest transition pieces it had ever transported. Jumbo cooperated closely with the broker Multi Marine Chartering to ship the equipment from the Thai port of Laem Chabang to Taichung (Taiwan). It was acting for one of its major customers, the Jan De Nul group.
Installed on an offshore wind farm
In Taichung the pieces are set to be deployed in phase two of the Formosa Ioffshore wind farm. The power station will have the capacity to generate 128 MW once it is completed.Phase two of the Formosa I wind farm is owned by Formosa I Wind Power, a joint venture that was set up as a partnership between Ørsted (which owns 35% of the undertaking), Jera (32.5%), Macquarie Capital (25%) as well as the Swancor Holding (7.5%). Prior to the actual loading the consignments concerned, Jumbo coordinated the manufacturing of twelve grillages, which acted as individualised on-deck safety devices for each piece of equipment.
The pieces were carefully attached to the grillages by specialists on board the Jumbo Kinetic before the three shipments sailed from Laem Chabang to Taichung. 20 transition pieces were shipped in this order; each of them measured 7.8 x 30 m and weighed in at an impressive 462 t. Jumbo’s project manager in charge of this operation arranged another solution for the customer by lending it two grillages, thus enabling the creation of extra on-shore storage solutions for the pieces.