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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Major Upgrade for Van Oord's Heavy-lift Installation Ship

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 11, 2023

Image courtesy Van Oord

Image courtesy Van Oord

Van Oord’s heavy-lift installation vessel Svanen will receive a major upgrade. Among other improvements, the gantry crane will be extended by 25 meterss, making the vessel ready to handle the next generation of monopile foundations for offshore wind projects.

The extension of the gantry crane, the most eye-catching upgrade, makes the Svanen one of the largest heavy-lift installation vessels worldwide.
The extension, weighing 1200 tonnes, will be constructed by Holland Shipyards and installed using a 200-meter-high Mammoet crane. Besides the gantry extension, the upgrade program includes an upgrade of the lifting hooks, which will increase the lifting capacity of the vessel from 3,000 tonnes to 4,500 tonnes, an upgrade of the gripper to handle increased loads, and an upgrade of the structure of the vessel to accommodate the latest hammer size. The modifications will take place at several locations in the Netherlands, mainly in the Rotterdam area. The upgraded Svanen will be operational in the third quarter of 2024.

The first project the upgraded Svanen will be deployed on is the Baltic Power offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. This wind farm will feature the new generation of wind turbines, with a generating capacity of 15MW. Due to the upgrade, the Svanen will be able to install the foundations of these new generation wind turbines. Besides the high lifting height and the significant lifting capacity, the low draught makes the Svanen well suited to operations in the Baltic Sea. It has already played a leading role in several Baltic projects, such as Kriegers Flak, Baltic 2, Arkona and Baltic Eagle.

The Many Lives of Svanen

The Svanen has an illustrious history with an extensive track record in the offshore wind industry, though it was originally designed for the construction of bridges. In 2005, the energy transition kicked off the Dutch offshore wind market and the Svanen was modified for the installation of monopiles and transition pieces. Since then, the vessel has installed approximately 700 monopiles and 223 transition pieces with yearly increasing dimensions and weight. To prepare Van Oord for this increase in the Svanen already received a major upgrade in 2017 and will now be upgraded again. By upgrading an existing vessel like the Svanen and by re-using much of its original construction and machinery, Van Oord is reducing waste and emissions, in line with its sustainability program.

Svanen "before" (right) and "after" the upgrade. Image courtesy Van Oord