Fred Olsen Windcarrier is upgrading one of its Gusto 9000 jack-up vessels with a new crane capable of installing foundations and all known next-generation offshore wind turbines
On delivery in 2022, the 1,600-tonne leg encircling crane will have the highest hook height of any in the market. The 1,600-tonne LEC 65500 crane will be supplied by Huisman in the Netherlands.
Fred Olsen Ocean chief executive Even Larsen said, “With this new crane, we are gearing up for the next generation of offshore wind turbines. After installing more than 600 offshore turbines, we continue to set our sights higher and higher, knowing that our clients need a partner who can support them in establishing tomorrow’s offshore wind giga-parks.”
With its upgraded crane and improvements to stability, the vessel will be capable of installing foundations of up to 1,500 tonnes and handling all known next-generation turbines.
Fred Olsen Windcarrier managing director Alexandra Koefoed said, “This unique crane has been enhanced with an even more extreme boom and outreach capacity.
“The crane allows us to stow wind turbine components in a more flexible way despite the increased crane weight, thus maintaining or exceeding the payload we carry for our clients.
“Blades can be installed more quickly with the faster auxiliary hook and in higher wind speeds.
“Altogether, this will considerably extend the lifetime of the vessel as the weight and dimensions of wind turbine components continues to increase.”
The crane will have an auxiliary hook of 400 tonnes capacity 165 m above deck (140 m boom). It will be capable of handling 1,250 tonnes at 38.5 m, 155 m above deck and of handling 1,600 tonnes at 32 m outreach (105 m boom). The boom configuration can be changed in less than a week.
Huisman Norge regional director Jan Atle Andersen said, “The compact size of the new crane in combination with its low own-weight and high lifting capacity make it unique and suitable for installing foundations and next-generation wind turbines.”
The crane will also have a high level of redundancy and will have “a very high operational speed.” The Lambda-shaped boom for the crane will also be very stiff, giving reduced motions at the tip.
The crane will be fully electrically-driven, resulting in reduced maintenance and higher reliability and will be more environmentally-friendly than earlier cranes and consume less power. It will also be quieter, the company said.
There will be catchers on all blocks/hooks to minimise time spent on stowing and a small tail swing will allow for optimised utilisation of free deck space.