Heerema Marine Contractors says it is investigating a piling incident that took place when it was driving a pile for the Changhua Demo offshore wind project off the coast of Taiwan
The incident took place on 15 June 2020 at 16.42 local time when Heerema’s heavy lift vessel Aegir experienced a dropfall incident. There were no injuries as a result of the incident, and no environmental impact.
Heerema said the piling frame and pin pile suffered minimal damage.
Work had just started on the project and foundation installation has been temporarily paused, pending the results of an investigation. The company said the exact cause of the incident is unknown.
A dropfall is a sudden free fall of a pile during hammering. It can occur because of inhomogeneities in the seabed, such as layering.
Dropfalls, some of several metres, have become an increasing concern in the offshore oil and gas and occasionally in the offshore wind industry. Snap loads following dropfalls can be high and can expose personnel and equipment to risk.
Heerema did not say how far the pile fell during the incident.
The jackets are being installed approximately 8 km off the coast of Fangyuan in Central Western Taiwan. Each jacket is anchored to the seabed by four pin piles.
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