Wind turbine project with cold challenge

15 December 2021

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Ice in a Swedish harbour sent a large wind turbine project past Port of Grenaa in the spring of 2021. A large area was quickly prepared and all available equipment and crews were deployed.

For months, DHL Global Forwarding was in the planning phase of shipping wind turbine parts to the Stavro onshore wind project in northern Sweden. A Swedish wind farm with two so-called sub-sites totalling 254MW. The wind project was a Siemens Gamesa (SGRE) project consisting of 62 wind turbines to be shipped from Europe and Africa to the Swedish port of Köpmanholmen.

In the transport flow, mill parts also had to be delivered over the winter, when there are ice restrictions in Köpmanholmen and several ports in the Gulf of Bothnia. DHL Global Forwarding had prepared for this and therefore investigated a setup of transhipping the cargo from large vessels to smaller vessels with a higher ice class. That is, ships with, for example, extra reinforcements to ensure that they can sail where severe ice occurs.

In order to create the necessary flexibility in the project, Port of Grenaa was chosen as the hub port for the transhipment of the turbine components. The final setup could only be planned at the last minute, so Port of Grenaa had short preparation time for the task. All conditions related to cranes, equipment, hinterland and water depth were met in Grenaa. And Port of Grenaa was able to step in at short notice. The task consisted of unloading the mill parts to shore, mounting them on new frames and reloading them onto coasters that could call at the port of destination in Sweden. In total, 150 large mill components were handled in Grenaa over the period March to May 2021.

A port that could deliver the whole package

"We had several ports in mind and ended up choosing Port of Grenaa, as they could step in at very short notice in Grenaa. They showed great flexibility, which was needed for this project. In addition, Port of Grenaa was able to supply manpower, cranes, handling equipment in close cooperation with Østship ApS, which has been the coordinating Danish party in this Swedish project. It has been alpha omega to have a cooperation and sparring partner to whom we could confidently entrust such a large part of the task and know that the task would be solved in the best possible way," says Jacob Jensen, Project Manager at DHL Global Forwarding about the choice of Grenaa.

Port of Grenaa established a 20,000 m2 new site in 14 days

"Due to high activity on the port's premises, we had to think outside the box to accommodate the project," says Theis Gisselbæk, CCO of Port of Grenaa A/S. Within 14 days, we established a 20,000 m2 heavy lift hub area at the port just for the purpose, and our skilled team worked flat out to get the space ready before the mill parts were due to arrive.

Handling equipment and skilled manpower

It wasn't just a new hub area that needed to be established. With three large project carriers arriving in three weeks and outbound vessels departing simultaneously, the port's experienced quayside crew was in extraordinary demand. In addition, most of the equipment pool at Port of Grenaa was in use for the job, including trucks, reach stackers, cranes and other handling equipment. A flexible and skilled crew worked flat out over the two months to complete the job.

At the beginning of the project, Port of Grenaa took delivery of a new mobile crane. A Liebherr 550 (left) with a lifting capacity of up to 144 tonnes, which benefited the project.

"We have worked with Port of Grenaa on several occasions. We know that they also have a strong focus on safety, health and that all guidelines regarding good working conditions and terms are adhered to - even in larger projects like this, where things have to move quickly and in a higher unit", continues Jacob Jensen, Project Manager at DHL Global Forwarding.

Good and strong cooperation with local companies

The project has not only been limited to crews and equipment at the port of Grenaa, but has also involved several local companies in Grenaa. The size of the project has meant that many actors have been involved. There has been good co-operation and co-ordination between other tasks and operations at the port to ensure that the project was completed on time.

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