Providing an innovative new solution to the transport of offshore wind turbines the Seatruck P series vessel Seatruck Pace has commenced a charter to Bluewater Shipping A/S. The vessel is undertaking a weekly round trip between Esbjerg in Denmark and Mostyn in North Wales transporting 3 complete turbines per voyage for the Gwynt y Môr windfarm off the North Coast of Wales.
Once operational, Gwynt y Môr will have an installed capacity of 576MW, using 160 Siemens 3.6MW turbines and generators. It will be capable of generating enough energy to meet the average annual energy needs of around 400,000 homes.
This is the first time that a ro-ro vessel has been used to transport such a large quantity of complete turbine sets which have traditionally been moved on project cargo lift on lift off vessels. The ro-ro mode provides many advantages over lo-lo not least the ability to discharge vessels in wind conditions that prevent the use of cranes, faster loading and discharge times and reduced risk of damage to the equipment.
The challenge of moving such high value yet bulky equipment has been met with the deck layout on the P series vessels showing their versatility for very difficult types of long and heavy project cargo. The shallow draft and excellent maneuvering capabilities means that the Pace can enter ports like Mostyn where deeper drafted or longer vessel would struggle to berth safely.
With 9 turbine blades on the upper deck alone each over 50m in length the vessel has already delivered over 30 compete sets with tower sections, hubs, nacelles and all ancillary equipment being transported on the lower 2 decks.
Seatruck believe that this method of transportation on the P series vessels will grow in popularity after this successful first venture.