Over time the experience and expertise available within Royal Wagenborg have grown rapidly when it comes to providing logistical solutions to the wind power industry. As a result, Royal Wagenborg was awarded a contract to take care of the complete logistical scope for the Borkum West II offshore wind farm in 2012. All the different components for the 40 pieces of 5MW Areva wind turbine generators had to be transported from various German ports to Eemshaven. The transports have proven that complete and complex logistical solutions can be provided in-house because of strong cooperation between the various companies of Royal Wagenborg.
Eemshaven as onshore hub
For Borkum West II the Eemshaven serves as the onshore hub. The different tower sections were shipped to Eemshaven from two different German ports; all shipments completely conducted with vessels from the Wagenborg fleet. Upon arrival in Eemshaven, Wagenborg took care of the unloading by means of a 500 tns mobile crane, assisted by a 200 tns harbour crane, after which two interconnected 6-axle self-propelled modular trailers (SPMT’s) placed the tower sections in storage.
Together, different Wagenborg employees took care of transporting the top and middle tower sections, whilst simultaneously a complete team was working on transporting the bottom tower sections, hubs and nacelles from Germany to Eemshaven. For a couple of months two 500 tns crawler cranes were permanently based in the two ports which were the startpoint and endpoint of this transport. Custommade lifting equipment was used to load and unload the heavy components from two different barges. These barges were towed between Germany and the Eemshaven and returned to Germany as soon as they were empty again to undertake a consecutive voyage. This way a total of 14 voyages was conducted and all components were safely placed in storage within the shortest time possible.
Cooperation is essential
In order to meet the GL Noble Denton guidelines, which applied to this project, all engineering for lifting and local transport of the components, as well as the engineering for sea-fastening, was conducted in house by a close cooperation of engineers between the different Wagenborg companies. In line with the GL Noble Denton standards, method statements were provided to the customer, describing the full scope of the operations. The cooperation between the customer, GL Noble Denton supervisors, the Royal Wagenborg divisions and different other parties involved was successful, resulting in the fact that all
transports were finished in time and could be concluded without any serious issues.
The final steps in this phase of the project were taken just before Christmas 2012, allowing everyone to prepare themselves in due time for the transport of the blades, starting early 2013. Once 20 voyages have been conducted, all blades for the first phase of Borkum West II will be stored safely in the Eemshaven, where again Wagenborg takes care of the lifting and local transport in a safe and efficient way.