Adopting a new approach to marshaling and load-out of wind farm jackets could cut logistics costs for project developers by as much as 60%, according to Heavy Lift Projects (HLP).
HLP is an offshore wind farm logistics firm set up in 2021 to "to bring a fresh approach to offshore wind farm logistics at a time when the equipment and expertise needed to meet the boom in installation is being stretched by a lack of capacity."
In a statement on Monday, HLP said:"Until now, developers have used a combination of available crane capacity with tugs and barges to load out jackets for installation by heavy lift vessels. In the future, contractors and developers will need much more lifting and marshaling capacity, as well as cargo vessels and support equipment to meet projected windfarm demand."
"HLP has modeled the combination of its next-generation fully electric ring cranes to handle the components at the marshaling port on to a dynamically-positioned (DP) flat deck carrier for transport of jackets to the install vessel, a combination that could save up to 60% of the cost compared to current approaches," HLP said.
According to the company, using the HLP ring crane enables more efficient pre-assembly handling of jackets on the quayside, as the unit is capable of lifting 5,000 tonnes to the center of a flat deck carrier allowing loading in and out during any tide and with a favorable weather range compared to a barge or RoRo.
"Using a single, larger DP flat deck carrier would reduce trips to the site due to increased carrying capacity when compared to using a North Sea barge," HLP said.
"HLP predicts that transport to the install vessel will also be accomplished at higher speed compared to using barges and tugs, reducing further the installation schedule timeline. The DP flat deck carrier can operate in a larger weather window, with reduced risk of offshore collision. Ancillary costs for ongoing storage, port fees, fuel, mobilization, handling, and standby of barges and tugs are also reduced," HLP said.
“The demand for marshaling of jackets, which have grown in size from 1,000 tonnes to almost 5,000 tonnes presents a real opportunity to think laterally about saving cost and timelines as well as reducing risk,” says HLP Managing Director Alex Fyfe. “The HLP approach is evolutionary; though it does reflect the need for change in windfarm marshalling; I think we have to ask why we still using a 19th century solution for a 21st century industry.”