Posted on December 13, 2023
Van Oord’s heavy-lift installation vessel Svanen will get a major upgrade. Among other improvements, the gantry crane will be extended by 25 metres, 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 metres high Mammoet crane. Besides the gantry extension, the upgrade programme includes an upgrade of the lifting hooks which will increase the lifting capacity of the vessel from 3000 tonnes to 4500 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 on several locations in the Netherlands, mainly in the Rotterdam area. The upgraded Svanen will be operational in the third quarter of 2024.
‘Because of the global need for renewable energy, wind farm technology is rapidly advancing and turbines are getting larger. The upgrade of the Svanen prepares us for this increase in scale and allows us to maintain our leadership position in the offshore wind industry.’
— Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Offshore Wind
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 for 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.
Multiple lives of the Svanen
The Svanen has a rich history. Although the vessel has an extensive track record within the offshore wind industry, 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 over 700 monopiles and 223 transition pieces with yearly increasing dimensions and weight. To prepare Van Oord for this increase in scale, the Svanen already got a major upgrade in 2017 and will now be upgraded again. By upgrading an existing vessel like the Svanen and by re-using a lot of its original construction and machinery, Van Oord reduces waste and emissions, in line with its sustainability programme.