SAL Heavy Lift delivers new crane boom for Pacific Osprey

SAL Heavy Lift has delivered a new crane boom for Swire Blue Ocean’s installation vessel Pacific Osprey. The new boom will increase the vessel’s maximum lift height from 97 to 132 metres, enabling it to handle the new generation of wind turbine generators.

SAL’s heavy-lift vessel Wiebke arrived with the boom in the port of Esbjerg last weekend (22-23 February). Teams are onsite to offload the cargo once the weather conditions become favourable. As soon as the new crane boom is on the quayside, preparations for the installation onboard Pacific Osprey will start.

The Pacific Osprey is a 2012-built, self-elevating Windfarm Installation Vessel. It was originally fitted with a 1200-tonne main crane that could lift the crane hook 97 metres above the deck at a radius of 31 metres. However, with the announcement of GE’s 12 megawatt (MW) Haliade-X wind turbine generator, that height is not sufficient anymore to install the future generation of wind farms. For that reason, the company decided to upgrade the vessel’s lift capabilities by replacing the current crane boom.

With its upgraded boom, the Pacific Osprey will be able to lift loads of 1200 tonnes up to 132 metres above the deck at a radius of 31 metres. At a radius of 50 metres, it will be capable of lifting components weighing up to 700 tonnes to a height of 128 metres above deck.

Under normal operations, this means the vessel will be able to handle three 12 MW GE Haliade-X wind turbine generators, four Siemens Gamesa 10 MW wind turbine generators (WTGs) or five MHI Vestas 10 MW WTGs per load out.

‘This is an important milestone for Swire Blue Ocean. The transportation of the crane boom to Denmark rewards months of hard work spent developing a new crane boom design with capacity for future wind turbines,’ says Kim Tribler, Head of Marine Operations, at Swire Blue Ocean (SBO). The Pacific Osprey is expected to return to service in May this year.

Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm

Swire Blue Ocean has already secured a contract for its upgraded installation vessels. Vattenfall awarded SBO the transport and installation contract for the Dutch offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid. This offshore wind farm will boast 140 11 MW WTGs of Siemens Gamesa which will be installed by the Pacific Osprey.

Vattenfall had selected SBO prior to its tender bid to build the wind farm and both tenders, Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 & 2 and Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 & 4, were won with a zero-subsidy bid. Once fully operational, Hollandse Kust Zuid will generate enough power to supply up to three million households with green electricity.

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, a sister publication of SWZ|Maritime.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.