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Work to begin on EOWDC wind turbine foundations

Asian Hercules III crane

One of the world’s largest floating cranes has arrived ahead of suction bucket foundations for Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. 

The giant crane will lift and install the 77m tall, 1800 tonne steel jacket foundations at the £300M European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay (EOWDC).

The suction bucket foundations are believed to be a UK first in large scale offshore wind and can be installed without noise or vibration.

The Asian Hercules III crane has a lifting capacity of up to 5000t and a hook height of more than 120m. It will be used to transport the jacket structures from Peterhead Port to the wind farm site of 11 turbines and lower them on to the seabed in Aberdeen Bay.

Vattenfall EOWDC project director Adam Ezzamel said “The size of the Asian Hercules III offers a glimpse of the scale of the engineering behind the EOWDC. We hope that the technology on display will be an inspiration to young people considering a career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Low carbon power is about their future. By testing and demonstrating pioneering technology, the EOWDC will support the growth of a low-cost, fossil-free offshore wind industry which is set to be the backbone of the UK power sector.

“The scale and size of the floating crane barge moored at Peterhead reflects the evolution of the energy industry and how projects like the EOWDC are playing a key role in ensuring the future energy mix.

“Everyone at Peterhead involved in this project has worked extremely hard to ensure the operation runs as safely and efficiently as possible. This is a complex marine operation in which all parties will, of necessity contribute their considerable skills to bring to fruition. We are presently in the final stages of preparations prior to hosting the first barge carrying foundations.”

Two barges will transport the foundations from Newcastle to Peterhead Port for marshalling, while the harbour will also accommodate a construction support vessel and barge tugs.

The port will support the installation operations for at least four months with the offshore work expected to take around six weeks.

Once constructed, the EOWDC, also known as Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, will generate the equivalent of 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand and annually displace 132,977t of CO².  Each turbine will be capable of powering about 7500 homes a day. 

Fugro completed the ground investigation work for the project in April 2016. 

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