IHC Handling Systems, part of IHC Merwede, has delivered a pile guiding tool for the installation of 80 wind turbine foundations at sea. This innovative tool was designed and constructed by IHC Handling Systems, and then installed on board Seajacks’ new jack-up vessel, ZARATAN, in autumn 2012.
The company was awarded the contract on the strength of its vast expertise and experience in the offshore market.
The pile guiding tool is part of an extensive package of advanced handling and lifting equipment that was supplied by IHC Handling Systems. The complete order consists, next to the pile guiding tool, of a 700t upending tool and accompanying hydraulic power packs. The equipment is being used on the Meerwind offshore wind farm project in the German North Sea. The monopiles – which are essential for the foundation of windmills – are lifted and positioned by the equipment more efficiently than they were previously. Indeed, 25 monopiles have been successfully installed since September last year.
The foundation of the wind turbines in the Meerwind offshore wind farm project consists of a monopile and transition piece. The monopiles have an outer diameter of 5,500mm, an overall length of 64m and a maximum weight of 680t. The transition piece connects the monopile to the mast of the wind turbine. The new pile guiding tool has replaced the commonly used ‘upending bucket’ and ‘guiding and positioning tool’ by combining two operations – tilting and positioning – into one piece of equipment. In doing so, it saves valuable time during the installation process. In addition, less deck space is required and the tool is much lighter than the current equipment.
Joint effort by IHC Merwede
The new IHC Handling Systems’ tool was produced in conjunction with several sister companies, including: IHC Vremac Cylinders, which supplied the cylinders; IHC Winches, where the assembly and testing took place. And above all, the piling specialist IHC Hydrohammer, which supplied the S-2000 hydraulic hammer for driving the monopiles.