A huge lift for Moray wind farm project

SPECIALIST lifting equipment has been provided for the assembly of 55 jackets to be used in the construction of the Moray East Offshire Wind Farm.

Lifting Projects UK, the planning, equipment and project management division of Lifting Gear UK Group, has been providing kit to Smulders for the project.

In a joint venture with DEME Offshore, Smulders has been building the top and lower parts for final assembly at its yard in Wallsend. Lifting capacity at Wallsend includes two gantry cranes which can each lift up to 600 tonnes and a large ring crane with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes.

For the Moray project, Lifting Projects provided rigging drawings, lifting equipment, spreader beams, Dyneema slings and shackles required for upending the jackets during assembly.

On completion, the jackets, each with a length of 85m and weighing 1,000 tonnes, are being transported and installed off the north eastern coast of Scotland. The 950 MW capacity wind farm project will cover 295 square kilometres and is expected to supply electricity to some 950,000 households.

Chris Turner, operations director at Lifting Gear UK, said, “This has been a fantastic project to be involved with. It stands out for the number and scale of the jackets, and for the timescale of the project, which demands that Smulders’ sites start on a new jacket every week, with each taking 13 weeks to construct.

“Special mention should be made to the use of Dyneema slings which have really helped expediate the lifts. With Dyneema being 10 times stronger than steel wires per unit of weight, you can reduce the overall weight of the lifting equipment, and it makes handling far easier and with fewer riggers.”