Construction of the “Amrumbank West” wind park launched through the offshore base port of Cuxhaven

After being refitted, the installation vessel “MPI Discovery” will be in service in the North Sea for several months

Cuxhaven, 15 January 2014 – As soon as one wind park is finished, the next one starts: following the completion of the installation phase for the “Meerwind Süd |Ost” wind park, the offshore base port of Cuxhaven is now handling the construction work for the “Amrumbank West” wind park. Once it has been completed, the E.ON project in the North See will generate power totalling 288 megawatts. Cuxport will handle the foundation structures for 80 wind turbines, store them for a period and then ship them on through the new Offshore Terminal.

The installation vessel “MPI Discovery” docked in Cuxhaven for the first time last week. It is known as a jack-up vessel and will be repeatedly put to sea during the next few months to reach the offshore wind park construction site 37 kilometres north-west of the island of Helgoland. In all, 80 monopile support structures, each weighing up to 670 tonnes, and 80 vertical transition pieces will be shipped from Cuxhaven for this project. Prior to this, the vessel, which has already been used for other wind park installation projects, was modified to cope with this task at Cuxhaven.

The port infrastructure company, Niedersachsen Ports, had adapted the base in front of the pier in order to handle these operations smoothly. The improvements to the substructure near berth 8 allow the vessel to “jack up”; so the port can handle larger construction vessels like the “MPI Discovery”. It is more than 140 metres long and over 40 metres wide, it has six “jack-up” legs, which can extend 60 metres downwards towards the seabed when out at sea during transfer or construction work. The ship also has an on-board crane, which can raise construction parts 100 metres into the air.

“Cuxport is playing the major role in organising the project alongside Niedersachsen Ports and the Cuxhaven branch of the Bremer Shipping Company, which is completing the ship’s agency work for E.ON,” says Roland Schneider, Manager of the Cuxhaven Port Business Community, explaining the significant role played by the port operator. “As a logistics service provider, we organise a wide range of tasks for the customer from one source and many of these go far beyond classic port activities.”

For example, Cuxport drew up the plans for the warehouse logistics at the offshore terminal, which was completed in 2012; it had the necessary crane tracks built, looked after the construction of a container village, where the project managers have set up their temporary offices, obtained the transport equipment required for the heavy-duty transport operations, including the crawler crane that can lift loads weighing 1,000 t. In addition to organising and preparing the terminal, Cuxport, after winning the order on behalf of Cuxhaven, is also responsible for handling the construction parts that arrive in Cuxhaven. These tasks range from unloading the monopiles and transition pieces to making them available for loading on board the “MPI Discovery” at exactly the right time.

About HWG

The Cuxhaven Port Association (HWG) is an association of Cuxhaven companies, institutions and private individuals aimed at marketing and further developing the port site at the mouth of the river Elbe. The HWG is also campaigning to make Cuxhaven the most important port for offshore wind power in Germany.

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