Heavylift / Breakbulk
Huge maritime power station
Parts for 87 wind power plants are being held in interim storage in Belfast by the heavylift logistician Schmidbauer, before the firm loads them onto a ship. They are destined for a wind farm west of Blackpool in the Irish Sea that is due to go on stream in 2018.
Parts needed to build 87 wind power plants have been shipped to the port of Belfast since mid-November; the task is due to be completed by the end of the first half of this year. The heavylift logistics firm Schmidbauer is in charge of unloading the units. It looks after local storage too, and transports the transition pieces, which can weigh up to 600 t each, as well as the monopiles, which in turn can weigh up to 1,030 t, to the site.
The transport leg to the offshore sites, the eastern and western Walney Extension fields, located west of the English town of Blackpool, is carried out with the assistance of specialised Liebherr cranes, which then put them in place with the aid of tugboats and jack-up vessels. The wind power plants are being set up there over an area of more than 145 sqkm and are scheduled to produce power from 2018.
The firm Dong Energy Walney Extension, which is based in Great Britain, is the operator of the wind farm, whose potential installed capacity of 650 MW makes it the largest such plant today. The operator says that the electricity it could generate annually could supply around 460,000 households.
Schmidbauer banks on its specialised cranes as well as on self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) with 56 axle lines to move the monopiles through the port. The units have a diameter of 8.4 m and are more than 80 m long.
Schmidbauer was asked to carry out this task by the Dutch firm Van Oord Offshore Wind Projects. The two partners already collaborated on the Butendiek and Gemini offshore projects, for example. In the context of the Veja Mate project in the North Sea in 2016, Schmidbauer transported the heaviest monopiles in the world, weighing 1,300 t.