At the EWEA 2015 international wind industry trade fair in Paris Siemens presented the company’s new offshore logistics concept. A key element of this is an improved transport solution. Siemens has signed a long-term framework contract with transport service provider deugro Danmark A/S, utilizing two purpose-built transport vessels to efficiently link Siemens’ existing production locations in Denmark with the new production facilities in Cuxhaven in Germany and Hull in the UK. Instead of loading the up-to-75-meter-long rotor blades and nacelles weighing around 360 metric tons by crane, the large and heavy components will be rolled on and off of these vessels. This “Roll-on/Roll-off” process is known as Ro/Ro. Siemens has utilized this method for many years. Based on this experience, the company’s experts have further developed the concept and deugro will now provide tailor-made transport vehicles. Siemens estimates cost savings of 15 – 20 percent compared to current transport procedures, depending on the location of the offshore wind power plant.
“With our new logistics concept for D7 offshore wind turbines, we continue to leverage innovation and industrialization on our journey to lower the LCoE of offshore wind energy to below 10 cents per kilowatt hour,” states Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Our new production facilities are located directly at harbors to allow advanced Ro/Ro handling and cost efficient shipping of heavy components. This solution will enable us to save up to one fifth of the costs in the transportation chain, depending on the location of the specific offshore wind project.”
deugro Danmark A/S, an international transport company, will assist with shipping of the large Siemens components. Two special transport vessels, each with a length of approximately 140 meters, will be constructed. One of the purpose-built vessels can transport eight nacelles of the current Siemens D7 wind turbine platform at a time. It will be launched as early as fall 2016. The second vessel will accommodate up to 12 rotor blades and transport them from the production facility in Hull, UK, or from Aalborg, Denmark, to the respective installation port. Both vessels can also be unloaded by crane when required. This enhances the flexibility of the installation ports, which are selected according to project-specific requirements.
In addition to the innovative cost-reducing transport concept, Siemens also presented optimization measures for installation and commissioning of offshore wind turbines. The D7 nacelle can be fully tested on the mainland. At the press conference, Michael Hannibal illustrated that comprehensive tests are planned directly in the future Cuxhaven production facility. Further improvements aim to shorten installation and commissioning times and to reduce weather-related project delays. All of these measures will be implemented in the next months and contribute to the industrialization of the entire value chain in an effort to make offshore wind energy increasingly affordable.