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DEME installs final XXL monopile in the Baltic Sea

A major milestone was achieved at Parkwind’s Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm over the weekend when DEME Offshore installed its final XXL monopile in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Rügen.

This was the first project executed by DEME’s new floating installation vessel ‘Orion’, which installed the foundations using its DP3 system.

Every element of this offshore wind project pushes the limits of industry standards. The 28 XXL monopiles are the largest monopile foundations ever installed, weighing more than 2,000 tonnes each, and having a diameter of 9.5 m and a length of up to 110 m.

Parkwind’s Arcadis Ost 1 project in the Baltic Sea is located North-East of the famous Kap Arkona Cliffs, within the 12 NM Zone of Germany with water depths of up to 45 m and challenging soil conditions. It will get it’s 27 Vestas V 174 – 9,5 MW wind turbines later this year and produce green electricity to supply up to 290.000 households.

‘Orion’ was running on LNG during the installation campaign and is equipped with a 5,000-tonne crane and a tailor-made, motion compensated pile gripper system able to handle enormous XXL monopile foundations. The integrated motion compensated pile gripper tool enables the crew to upend and drive the monopiles, which are transported horizontally on deck. Coupled with the vessel’s DP3 capability, the motion compensated gripper keeps the monopiles vertical and stable despite waves and vessel motions.

In addition, an entire set of new specialist tools have been used during this maiden project for ‘Orion’. These innovative tools include an adjustable monopile sea fastening system, a newly-built automated monopile lifting spreader beam to enable the horizontal lifting of the XXL monopiles, automated quick-lifting tools to avoid manual handling on deck, as well as several new noise mitigation systems.

Hugo Bouvy, Managing Director of DEME Offshore, said: “We are extremely thrilled to see ‘Orion’ and her motion compensated pile gripper doing what the vessel has been created for, installing huge monopiles in extreme circumstances. This pushes the boundaries of the offshore wind industry over the horizon and shows that DEME’s smart solutions and equipment are ready for the next generation of foundations and wind turbines. Many years of offshore experience and engineering by incredibly motivated people have resulted in the delivery of ‘Orion’ and her installation tools. Our persistent Arcadis Ost 1 project and newbuild teams, and our experienced and extremely professional crew led to the commissioning of ‘Orion’ in record times. Together they pushed technological boundaries with enormous enthusiasm and drive. I am so proud to be part of this team!”

Manfred Dittmer, Parkwind’s Country Manager Germany, commented: “It feels good to see how it all comes together when installation works starts, the planning, the design, the certification, the manufacturing, and finally the installation itself. Thanks to the whole team and all partners involved who worked with great efforts and enthusiasm on the realisation of our first offshore wind farm outside Belgium. It underlines our capabilities to execute projects under challenging conditions and environments. With the monopiles in place, we will continuing the installation of the secondary steel structures to complete the foundations.”