Van Oord’s Heavy-Lift Installation Vessel Gets Major Upgrade

(Credit: Van Oord)
(Credit: Van Oord)
(Credit: Van Oord)
(Credit: Van Oord)
(Credit: Van Oord)
(Credit: Van Oord)

Van Oord’s Svanen vessel has received a major upgrade which increased its total height to 125 meters, making it one of the largest heavy-lift vessels in the world suitable for handling the next generation of monopile foundations for offshore wind.

Svanen grew 25 meters taller with the installation of an A-framed gantry extension, weighing 1,200 tonnes, on top of the vessel.

The extension had been constructed by Holland Shipyard. One of the largest cranes in the world was used for the installation at Mammoet Schiedam.

Besides the gantry extension, the upgrade includes a modernization of the lifting hooks that will increase the lifting capacity of the vessel from 3,000 tonnes to 4,500 tonnes, an improvement of the gripper to handle increased loads and a modification of the structure of the vessel to accommodate the latest hammer size.

The improved Svanen will be ready for operation in the third quarter of 2024.

Due to the worldwide demand for renewable energy, wind farm technology is progressing swiftly, with turbines continually increasing in size. This major upgrade is preparing the Svanen to handle the next generation of monopile foundations for offshore wind projects, according to Van Oord.

“We are immensely proud to have constructed one of the largest steel structures in our history for the extension of Van Oord’s Svanen, including the provision of new accommodation units. This project required not only exceptional precision in engineering but also presented us with significant logistical challenges,” said Marco Hoogendoorn, Commercial Director at Holland Shipyards.

“I'm proud to be part of a dedicated project team giving the Svanen yet another life. Originally deployed for bridge construction, the vessel has been contributing to offshore wind construction since the start of the energy transition. Following a significant upgrade in 2017, it is now undergoing further enhancements to continue installing many more foundations for offshore wind farms in the years ahead,” added Maarten Loman, Project Manager Svanen modification at Van Oord.

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