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DEME’s ‘Orion’ successfully installs first monopile at Arcadis Ost

Deploying ‘Orion’, the newest member of the DEME fleet and the most innovative vessel in the offshore wind industry, DEME Offshore has successfully installed the first XXL monopile at Parkwind’s Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm in Germany.

DEME’s revolutionary, floating DP3 offshore installation vessel is set to install the 28 giant monopiles, which at 110 m long are the largest monopile foundations ever built in Europe, weighing more than 2,000 tonnes each. ‘Orion’ is the first floating monohulled vessel able to perform these operations, speeding up installation times dramatically.

Sustainability is a key focus of the DEME Group and the company’s ambitions are embodied in its modern, innovative fleet. Alongside its ability to handle the next generation mega foundations and turbines, ‘Orion’ has dual fuel engines and is being powered by LNG at the Arcadis Ost 1 project. It is the first foundation installation vessel in the industry operating on LNG, significantly reducing the CO2 footprint of the operations.

Arcadis Ost 1 is located in the German Baltic Sea to the northeast of Rügen island. Every element of this offshore wind project pushes the limits of industry standards. ‘Orion’ is equipped with a 5,000-tonne crane and a tailor-made, motion compensated gripper system able to handle enormous foundations of up to 2,500 tonnes.

The integrated motion compensated pile gripper tool enables the crew to upend the monopiles, which are transported horizontally on deck. Coupled with the vessel’s DP3 capability, the gripper enables the monopiles to remain vertical and stable, despite motions and waves. In the gripper several noise mitigation systems are integrated in order to reduce the underwater noise during hammering.

With a total installed power of 44,180 kW and at 216.5 m long, ‘Orion’ has a spacious, unobstructed deck and a deadweight that has been maximised so it can handle the heaviest monopiles, jackets and wind turbine components.

Bas Nekeman, DEME Offshore Business Unit Director Northern Europe, comments: “The Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm is an incredible project, given the scale of these foundations and it requires an equally exceptional vessel, which is pushing boundaries and bringing the industry standards of innovation to a new level. It is wonderful to partner with Parkwind which also shares our vision regarding the importance of offshore wind in helping the world achieve the energy transition as soon as possible.