First offshore transfer lifts for wind turbines

Dutch heave compensation specialist Seaqualize completed what it claims as the world’s first offshore transfer lifts of wind turbine components from a heaving supply vessel.

The HC1100 in the crane hook of DEME’s SEA INSTALLER ready to start lifting the next WTG component. (Photo: Seaqualize)

The newly developed offshore lifting device, the Heave Chief 1100 (HC1100), is deployed by DEME Offshore US.

Together with the feeder barge solution developed by DEME Offshore US with partners Barge Master, Foss Maritime and Seaqualize, and the operators and equipment from GE Renewables, this technology will ensure that the Halliade X 13 MW turbines can be installed year round, to form the first commercial scale wind farm installation project in the USA, Vineyard Wind.

The HC1100 on board DEME’s SEA INSTALLER with two tower sections. (Photo: Seaqualize)

Gjalt Lindeboom, managing director at Seaqualize, says, “Some will say: ’Haven’t we done floating lifts for years already in the oil and gas industry? The answer is ‘yes’, but not at this scale, frequency and with such delicate, standard components. In oil and gas, it is not uncommon to wait several days or even weeks to execute one single safe floating transfer lift of, for example, a heavy platform top side, or vessel module. It only has to be done once and that is the project.

“Furthermore, the component is usually engineered and fabricated to withstand any undesired transport, lifting or installation loads, simply by adding protective steel.”

The Vineyard Wind project will require more than 800 lifts, with loads ranging from 10 to 1,000 tonnes.

Lindeboom adds, “We are very proud of these first successful fast-lifts and the contract and co-operation with DEME. In addition, the second Seaqualize Heave Chief, the HC750, is about to start operations this month, on another wind farm installation project ramping up in the US. We are currently planning the production of additional machines to support projects in 2024 up to 2026.”


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