Offshore installation firm Jan De Nul Group has awarded the Italian engineering firm Remazel a contract for the delivery of a set of cradles, a skidding system and an upending hinge for its new offshore installation vessel Les Alizés to handle and install large monopiles.
"The design of this fully automated monopile installation system is tailor-made for Les Alizés and ideally suited to work in challenging weather conditions and harsh sea states. This mission equipment will allow Les Alizés to safely and efficiently install monopiles in offshore conditions," Jan De Nul Group said.
Les Alizés will use the monopile cradles on the deck to store monopiles. The monopile cradles can automatically adjust their supporting diameter. If required, the cradles can also support the tapered section of the monopile.
The skidding system is needed to optimize the use of the deck and will enable Les Alizés to transport the monopiles in between the monopile cradles and the upending hinge.
The upending hinge can accommodate monopiles weighing over 3,000 mt. The tub-mounted crane brings the monopile in a vertical position using the upending hinge. Once upended, the monopile is placed into the monopile gripper by the tub-mounted crane, Jan De Nul explains.
Jan Van De Velde, Head of Newbuilding Department: “The construction of our offshore installation vessel Les Alizés is well on track. Recently, we have ordered an innovative Motion-Compensated Pile Gripper. Today, we add this automated monopile installation system, fully aligned with our continued philosophy to focus on operational efficiency and improved safety. We are delighted to team up with Remazel, an important industry partner known for its large track record in offering innovative engineering solutions for the offshore market, and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration.”
Les Alizés will be able to install very large components including jackets exceeding 4,500 mt and monopiles weighing over 3,000 mt.
"The monopile installation system manipulates the monopiles entirely hands-free and fully automatic. There is no need for rigging or adjusting the supporting diameter of the cradles manually. Moreover, by using a mechanical interface between the skidding system and the upending hinge, the skidding system is able to travel inside the upending line.
"This unique feature eliminates the need for a lift of the monopile from the skidding system to the upending hinge by the tub-mounted crane. This is fully aligned with the no-hands-on-deck philosophy: the automated working method creates a safe environment in which the personnel’s safety is not compromised." Jan De Nul explains.