The company will use two purpose-built transport vessels from deugro Danmark A/S to link its existing production locations in Denmark with the new production facilities located in Cuxhaven, Germany, and Hull in the U.K.
Here's how it works: 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. Siemens has used the method, known as Ro/Ro, for many years.
Based on this experience, the company's experts have further developed the concept and deugro Danmark A/S will now provide tailor-made transport vehicles. Siemens estimates cost savings of 15% to 20% compared to current transport procedures, depending on the location of the offshore wind farm.
‘With our new logistics concept for D7 offshore wind turbines, we continue to leverage innovation and industrialization on our journey to lower the [levelized cost of energy] for offshore wind energy to below $.10/kWh,’ states Michael Hannibal, CEO offshore of 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.’
According to Siemens, 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, U.K., or from 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.