Sif wind farm terminal at Rotterdam now operational
Last year the Port of Rotterdam Authority signed an agreement with the Sif Group and Verbrugge International for the construction of a wind farm component production and storage/handling terminal in Rotterdam. This new site is now operational and has now loaded out the first wind farm monopiles from the site bound for installation in the UK sector of the North Sea.
The Sif Group and Verbrugge set up a joint venture to bring the construction, storage and logistics of the monopiles under one roof. At the new terminal, which covers around 42 hectares, the Sif Group will produce steel foundations for offshore wind farms and for the oil and gas industry. The company claims that it is the market leader in the production of monopiles for the offshore wind market in the North Sea. Verbrugge will take care of the logistics at the terminal, as well as the loading and operation of sea-going vessels.
The first four monopiles were loaded from the site located at Maasvlakte 2 onto GeoSea’s installation vessel Innovation. This took place at the first section of the new deepwater quay in the Port of Rotterdam where the port authority has built a 400-metre deep sea quay where there is a depth 16.50 metres alongside with the possibility to deepen it to 19 metres in the future. This batch of monopiles is destined for installation at the Galloper Wind Farm.
The installation of the first four foundations, including monopiles and transition pieces, for the Galloper site started in late December 2016. The first batch of monopiles was transported from Sif’s assembly facilities onto a barge because the quay was not ready to accommodate the load-out on a seagoing vessel at the time. They were then transferred onto Innovation together with the transition pieces at the BOW Terminal.
However, from now on, all the monopiles for the wind farm, which will comprise a total of 56 units, will be picked up directly by the installation vessel at Maasvlakte 2 site. The first 150 meters of the new quay are now ready, and the entire site is scheduled to be put into operation in July 2017.
GeoSea, which is carrying out the installation supported by scour protection work done by its sister company Tideway (both part of DEME Group), sub-contracted Sif Group and Smulders to produce the monopiles and transition pieces. Each foundation is around 85 metres in length and 7.5 metres in diameter, and weighs around up to 1,200 tonnes.
Galloper offshore wind farm, located approximately 30 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, is an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard wind farm and represents an expected investment potential of around £1.5 billion. The installation of the fifty-six 6MW Siemens turbines is expected to start in the early summer of 2017.
By Dag Pike
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