Report 01/19

Ready, Heavy, Go!

Cuxport’s new berth went into service even before its opening ceremony

Even before berth no. 4 at the Cuxport terminal was officially inaugurated in September, the heavy-duty surface, which covers an area measuring 8.5 hectares, was the setting for a major offshore project from the summer of 2018 onwards. Cuxport served as the installation port for 31 foundation structures for Deutsche Bucht, the offshore wind farm operated by the Canadian energy producer Northland Power.

The heavy-duty vessel “Happy Star” initially delivered 31 transition pieces, yellow tower segments weighing more than 300 tonnes each, from Spain to Cuxhaven in July and August. Using the ship’s own crane, they were hoisted on to the pier of berth no. 4 and then stored in installation sequence. The 31 monopile foundations were delivered from Rostock to the Cuxport terminal by barge as required, to be loaded directly on board the installation vessel “Scylla”. In order to take the transition pieces and monopiles on board, Scylla jacked up in front of berth no. 4 – i.e. it raised itself from the water on its four stilts. The vessel was then able to load three transition pieces from the quayside as well as three monopiles, each weighing about 1,100 tonnes, directly from the barge each time and then start its journey to the installation site in the North Sea, about 95 kilometres north-west of the island of Borkum.

Ideal conditions
Rhenus Offshore Logistics was also involved in the project alongside Cuxport and was responsiblefor the port agent work, which included handling customs clearance for the freight and the changes of crew on the vessel. The specialist for offshore logistics and supply runs has its own branch office in Cuxhaven. “The port not only offers space, roads and handling equipment that are suitable for moving heavy-duty items, but also expertise for the special initial and further training of personnel and the capacity to supply offshore facilities when working on offshore projects. This extensive range of services makes Cuxhaven the ideal base port for the offshore wind industry,” Hans-Peter Zint, Managing Director of Cuxport, affirms


Successful launch
As the balance of plant general contractor, the customer Van Oord is responsible for the design, engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the foundations, the inter-array cables and the offshore substation as well as transporting of the wind turbines. “Van Oord chose Cuxhaven because of the ideal general conditions for loading items between barges, the quayside and vessels,” says Roland Schneider, Head of Business Development at Cuxport. The wind farm is due to be commissioned during the second half of 2019.

Innovative technology
In addition to the 31 monopile foundations, two wind turbines are installed on so-called mono-bucket foundations at the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind park. This new technology involves firmly embedding the units on the seabed by creating a vacuum in the suction bucket foundations. This enables the installation work to proceed with low noise and minimum environmental impact. Deutsche Bucht is the first wind farm worldwide to test this new type of foundation structure in commercial operating conditions. The 33 wind turbines at the wind farm have an overall grid capacity of almost 270 megawatts and are due to provide power for about 328,000 households each year in future.


Surface area: 8.5 hectares
Quay wall: 290 metres
Water depth: 17.30 metres
Equipment: four heavy-duty blocks able to withstand up to 20 tonnes per square metre

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