The Asian Hercules III, one of the world’s biggest floating cranes, arrived in Peterhead Port today to begin work on Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre.
The 25,000 tonne floating crane will be used to lift and install the 77 meter-high, 1,800 tonne steel jacket foundations – each as heavy as ten Boeing 747s.
The crane will lower the 11 suction bucket foundations on to the seabed at Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm upon their arrival from Newcastle.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) suction bucket foundations are believed to be the first ever used in the UK for a large scale offshore wind farm.
John Wallace, chief executive at Peterhead Port Authority, said: “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.”
The floating crane has a lifting capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes and a hook height of at least 120metres.
Upon completion, Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm will generate the equivalent of 70% of the city’s electricity demand.
The EOWDC will also annually displace 132,977 tonnes of CO2.
Jean Morrison, chair of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) added: “This is a momentous stage for the project and the North East of Scotland as construction will soon start on this ground-breaking wind project. The delivery of this cutting-edge technology underlines our vision for the EOWDC to be at the forefront of new innovations.”