Despite the ongoing challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic and a last-minute crane failure prior to the delivery of DEME’s newbuild offshore installation vessel ‘Orion’, DEME Offshore has achieved the installation of the first jacket in good time and got this phase of the project off to a strong start.
The company made every effort to find a suitable vessel to ensure the project’s baseline schedule is adhered to, mobilising the replacement vessel ‘Scylla’ for the jacket installation.
With a contract placed in December 2018 for the design, fabrication and installation of 103 foundation substructures and the installation of three topside structures, meticulous management of every activity has been crucial to make sure the timeline for this challenging project is kept on track.
Even though the design phase was still underway, DEME Offshore placed early orders for any time-critical components. Fabrication of the 309 pin piles was initiated at two diverse manufacturing locations in order to expedite the initial installation works.
DEME Offshore’s installation vessel ‘Apollo’ then installed all piles using a custom-designed piling template to maximise efficiency and to ensure that the piles were installed within the strict tolerances required. At each of the 103 locations three piles have been installed, with a length in the range of 30 m to 50 m and individual weight between 95 tonnes and 173 tonnes.
More recently, the 103 jacket structures (three for the offshore substations and 100 for the wind turbines) have been fabricated at four major centres, each working in parallel to ensure maximum throughput.
Bart De Poorter, General Manager DEME Offshore emphasises: “Despite the many challenges brought to us by the Coronavirus and the incident with the crane of ‘Orion’, our dedicated Moray East project team and all of our partners have done their utmost to make sure this complex project stays on schedule by closely coordinated teamwork. Such an ambitious project would not be possible without these highly skilled professionals - their ‘can do’ attitude - and the support of our shareholders, lenders, management and the team of the Moray East project. In these unprecedented times, and given this is one of the most complex EPCI projects in offshore wind history, this is a real achievement.”