Deme had been awarded the foundations work for 100 wind turbines plus three offshore substation platforms in December 2018. It appointed Lamprell for the fabrication of 45 wind turbine foundation jackets and three offshore substation jackets. The remaining 55 jackets were awarded to Smulders, which constructed them at facilities in Belgium and Newcastle.
As well as the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the project suffered a setback when a shipboard crane collapsed shortly before the start of offshore construction. The accident happened during crane load tests on the new offshore installation vessel ‘Orion 1’. The crane, which was undergoing load tests, suffered significant damage.
Nevertheless, Deme Offshore was able to install the final jacket foundation last week.
Deme Offshore general manager Bart De Poorter said: “Despite the unprecedented challenges we have faced on this project we are extremely proud of how our teams have navigated through difficult times. This was only possible by meticulous planning, thorough preparation, excellent cooperation with our subcontractors and by working closely with our customer and partners.
“Thanks to countless mitigation and acceleration measures taken by our teams and our global supply chain we have been able to obviate several challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic at multiple project locations, border closures and adverse weather events at several worksites. Deme Offshore has shown to its client and the offshore wind industry its commitment and capability to finalise a job on time, even in such circumstances.
"At a technical level, we delivered unique solutions, such as a combined WTG [wind turbine generator] foundation and OSP [offshore substation platform] foundation design, accurate and high speed pre-piling, a pile-pin locking system for grouting and special lifting and positioning tools. In all its technical aspects this was one of the most high-tech featured projects the offshore wind world has seen so far.”
He added: “During the entire project both the Scottish and English supply chain and their highly skilled experts played a major role, significantly contributing to the safe and successful delivery of the project.”