A strong cooperation between different Wagenborg divisions, and again a clear case of the complete and complex logistical solutions that can be provided in-house by Royal Wagenborg; that is in short how Royal Wagenborg’s involvement in the logistical operations for the Borkum West II offshore wind farm project can be described.


Borkum West II is an offshore wind farm located around 45 kilometres North of Borkum in the North Sea. When completed, a total number of 80 Areva MultiBrid M5000 wind turbines, each with a rated capacity of 5 MW, will provide sufficient output to power nearly 250.000 households annually. Phase 1 of the project, consisting of the commissioning of the first 40 wind turbines, is expected to ready in 2013.


But before the turbines can be installed at sea, complex logistical solutions are required in order to get all the components at the right place. The different components have been manufactured at various places in Germany and will all be brought to the Eemshaven, which will serve as the onshore hub for the project. And that, of course, is where Royal Wagenborg comes in…


m.v. Vlistborg still empty, early morning

Under supervision of Wagenborg Projects and Logistics, early in the morning the crew in Cuxhaven starts to load the top and middle tower sections onto the Vlistborg, one of the vessels in Wagenborg Shipping’s fleet. She brings this valuable cargo safely to the Eemshaven, where Wagenborg Agencies has taken care of all preparations, and upon arrival there, Wagenborg Nedlift stands ready to discharge the vessel with her 500 Te mobile crane, assisted by a 200 Te harbour crane. The tower sections are transported into storage by means of two interconnected single 6-axle Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs). All within as less time as possible, since as soon as the vessel is empty she will return to Cuxhaven in order to collect the next load of tower sections.


At the same time Wagenborg Projects and Logistics is supervising the loading of the bottom tower sections, the hubs and the nacelles onto the pontoons of Wagenborg Towage. As soon as the first pontoon is loaded and the weather conditions are within limits, tug Waterman makes sure she is transported safely to the Eemshaven. Upon arrival the pontoon is moored onto the quay and Wagenborg Nedlift can start discharging. For the discharging operations a 750 Te crawler crane is used, assisted by a 250 Te mobile crane. On-site transport is arranged with a double, 10-axle SPMT.

Local transport of hub

But the tug will not wait until the pontoon is empty since there is no time to waste, and after making sure the pontoon is safely berthed in the Eemshaven, she returns to Bremerhaven to collect the second pontoon. By the time she will be arrive with this pontoon in the Eemshaven, the first pontoon will be empty and can be taken back to Bremerhaven for yet another round…


And this is only the start of it. A total of 6 voyages has now been completed with tower sections from Cuxhaven to Eemshaven. Still another 8 transports with the pontoons will be executed. Once these steps are taken, additional voyages to transport the blades for the wind turbines from Germany to the Eemshaven will be conducted, as well as transports between Bremen and Eemshaven to collect the remaining tower sections. All within the shortest time and as safely as possible, without damages or major issues. Made possible through a strong cooperation between divisions, all represented by the Sign Of Solutions.


Some impressions

Loading tower sections on deck of the Vlistborg. In the background Hestia is passing by.

Early morning start in Eemshaven

Unloading tower sections in Eemshaven

View from bridge of Vlistborg on discharge activities pontoon

Unloading pontoon in Eemshaven

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