Posted on the : 11th February 2019
This short post is produced to really pay tribute and thanks to all that have been involved with the successful execution of this strategically significant project.
First and foremost to report is the fact that the works were completed without incident and, critically without any Lost Time Incidents – this reflects the strong and collective partnership working of all parties.
It was Boxing Day 2017, and another cause for celebration, when the first shipment of components arrived at Able Seaton Port – the first of 90 shipments (in and out) that comprised the Foundation Package for the 1,200 MW Hornsea Project One Offshore Wind Farm.
As a company Able UK has a track record in breaking new ground and taking on new and challenging projects. This was very much a case in point, especially as this was effectively Able’s introduction to a larger scale offshore wind contract – working with Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind development and GeoSea, perhaps the sector’s leading installation contractor and on what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Quite some introduction!
All in all, the contract extended over an intensive 13-month period – with few weather delays – in fact the longest delay was attributed to the courtship of a couple of whales romancing out at Hornsea.
Overall the project encompassed c, 45,000 man-hours and, with Able providing both the facility and the onshore logistics, the safe transportation of no less than 550 components and supporting accessories.
• 168 Monopiles – the heaviest at 993 tonnes and the longest at 71 meters. Added together the total length of monopiles installed was over 10.5 km (6.5 miles) with a combined weight in excess of 138,000 tonnes (the equivalent of almost 20,000 fully grown African elephants or almost 1,000 blue whales);
• 40 Transition Pieces – each one 28m tall weighing c. 340 tonnes;
• 132 Anode Cages
In addition there were 107 Transition Pieces manufactured here on the Tees, by Offshore Structures Britain (OSB) and Wilton Engineering – that were delivered and transferred direct from a barge on to the collecting installation vessel at the ASP quayside.
All of the Monopiles were sourced from EEW’s Rostock facility in Germany and the balance of the Transition Pieces from Bladt Industries based in Aaborg, Denmark. The deliveries were made by SAL’s 15,000 tonne ship the MV Svenja which, in the course of this project, covered over 36,000 nautical miles (the equivalent of 1.7 times around the earth’s circumference).
The installation programme was led by the ground-breaking vessel the GeoSea Innovation which was able to jack-up on ASP’s Quay 10 and utilize its impressive c. 1,500 tonne crane capacity. It was ably assisted by two of her sister ships – the Sea Installer and the Sea Challenger – which installed the majority of the Transition Pieces.
These vessels are prime assets and cannot be kept waiting necessitating round the clock availability of the operational team to ensure minimal delays during the time pressured load-ins and load-outs. We understand that the project has set potentially new standards in productivity, most notably the safe load-out of four monopiles within a three-hour period – again this is all down to the successful teamwork and ‘can-do’ attitude of all involved.
Able now looks forward to it’s next major offshore wind contract which will see the installation of the turbine package (90 nacelles, 270 tower sections and blades) for Innogy’s Triton Knoll Wind Farm which will start in September 2020. This partnership will be led by Mitsubishi Vestas Offshore Wind and will see the very welcome return to ASP of the GeoSea team.