Before installing the very first pin-piles for the jacket foundation, the Aeolus was upgraded and an extensive spread of project-specific installation equipment was placed on deck.
Van Oord is responsible for the transport and installation of 62 jacket foundations for the wind turbines (three pin piles each) and the four foundation pin piles for the offshore substation. A total of 190 pin piles will be installed.
Before the start of the operations in France, equipment was engineered, constructed and extensively tested to ensure perfect execution of the project. The Aeolus was put into service in 2014. The main crane has a lifting capacity of more than 1,600t. This makes this vessel suitable for the transport and installation of foundations and wind turbines. Its advanced jacking system with its four legs, each measuring 85m and weighing 1,280t, allow Aeolus to be jacked up and to work in waters of up to 45m deep.
Due to the geotechnical circumstances in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, harsh weather conditions combined with extremely strong currents, heavy Atlantic swell and very high waves, offshore operations are possible only between March and October.
To ensure that the Aeolus can be safely jacked up above sea level the lifting spuds were modified with a flex-pin construction.
For the drilling operations, new hydraulic drills were engineered and built to handle all types of soil and rock conditions. A newly designed and created state-of-the-art drilling template will function as a positioning and holding tool to ensure the precise placement of the pin piles.
Van Oord will also be deploying several other vessels on the project over the coming months for the removal of boulders, installation of scour protection, transport of pin piles, etc. The installation campaign for the pin piles will be executed in 2021 and 2022. In 2022 the jackets will also be installed.
Van Oord will use the port of Cherbourg as the pin pile marshalling port. The pin piles, coming from Spain, will be stored in France before installation offshore.
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