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YUNLIN BLOG - Engineering transport solutions

21 Sep 2020 - Engineering transport solutions to save time and money (and sustainable too!)

Jumbo’s Yunlin Blog caught up with Lead Engineer Rob Groeneveld to get a closer look at how Jumbo is tackling the mammoth task of transporting around 125,000 tons of offshore wind foundation structures from European production facilities to Taiwan.

What is your role in the Yunlin offshore wind farm project?
As Lead Engineer, I am responsible for the engineering side of transporting 40 monopiles, 120 monopile sections and 40 transition pieces [TPs] to Taiwan, ready for installation at the Yunlin offshore wind farm. I also coordinate the engineering works carried out by subcontracting companies.

That sounds like a job that needs more than just engineering skills.
It is. The TPs come from Belgium, the monopiles from Germany. And they all need to be transported to Taiwan – using a combination of our own HLVs [Heavy Lift Vessels] and chartered deck carriers. Yes, the complete logistics schedule is one of the major tasks.

Can you tell us more about the sea-fastening components?
The monopiles are secured on board with saddles, and the TPs with grillages. Weighing in at around 7,500 tons, these represent a significant amount of steel. This is why we have engineered all the sea-fastenings to be reusable. This saves a lot of steel so it is beneficial from both a financial and a sustainable point of view. The fact that the grillages are reusable is quite special because TPs do not have a standard size. The design of the saddles is notable because they are classified as suitable for weather-unrestricted voyages – meaning that we are not limited by season. These sea-fastenings represent a substantial investment for Jumbo, but it is already paying off. We are already using them to their fullest capacity.

How is the project progressing so far?
The preparation time we had for this project was very short term. But we got into gear very quickly for the first shipment on 9 October 2019 – with all parties complying fully to DNV-GL. The whole project comprises more than 20 shipments, so it’s important to stay on schedule.

What have been the biggest challenges?
The storms that hit Europe in early 2020 were significant. And, of course, the coronavirus is posing many challenges. We stay on schedule by being flexible. For example, we saved a lot of time during loading operations in Germany by loading directly at the quayside, instead of using barges for pre-carriage. The unloading in Taiwan is also efficient – using soft slings from our own vessels, and side or stern Ro-Ro offloading for the chartered deck carriers. To cope with all these challenges the whole team must be flexible.

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